It's that time of year again - the frenetic end-of-the-school-year vortex where everything seems to be happening all at once -final exams, parties, recitals - you name it.
I was doing scheduling with a new babysitter the other day, and she looked at my wall calendar for May with item after item scrawled in red Sharpie pen, and simply said: "Wow, you're busy."
But, the best part of this time of year is what follows, the wind down. Summer is a time when our over-scheduled children can sleep late, read, hang out with their friends and maybe even experience a little boredom - something foreign to this generation of constantly stimulated children.
It's a time for the brain to recharge, for the stress of the school year to melt away and for the possibility of creativity to blossom.
For parents, it's a break as well. It's a time where there are less activities to manage - no carpools, no late-night help with homework or last-minute trips to buy supplies for a project or urgent permission slips to fill out. We too can take a deep breath and inhale the sweet sound of silence as we sip our coffee in the morning while our children sleep in.
So, even though we still have to work throughout the summer, there is a magical quality in my house during these summer months, not unlike when I was a child and the promise of freedom seemed endless. I welcome the cacophony of the cicadas, the symphony of bullfrogs, the dazzling show put on by the lightning bugs and the belief, that even if only for a brief moment, we are free to dream again ...
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.