Why Can't We Just Play?
Facing summer with her two boys, ages ten and seven, Pam Lobley was sifting through signups for swim team, rec camp, night camp, scout camp, and enrichment classes. Overwhelmed at the choices, she asked her sons what they wanted to do during summer: “Soccer? Zoo School? Little Prodigy’s Art Club?”
“Why can’t we just play?” they asked.
A summer with no scheduled activities at all . . . The thought was tempting, but was it possible? It would be like something out of the 1950s. Could they really have a summer like that?
Juggling the expectations of her husband (“Are you going to wear garters?”), her son, Sam (“I’m bored!”), and her son, Jack (“Can I just stay in my pajamas?”), Pam sets out to give her kids an old-fashioned summer. During the shapeless days, she studies up on the myths and realities of the 1950s. With her trademark wit and candor, she reveals what we can learn from those long-ago families, why raising kids has changed so drastically, and most importantly, how to stop time once in a while and just play.
About Pam Lobley
Pam Lobley is an author and humor columnist. She has written about parenting and family life for The Bergen Record and New Jersey Newsroom and for many national news outlets including The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Carolina Parent, Today.com, and Huffington Post. Her memoir, Why Can't We Just Play? What I Did When I Realized My Kids Were Way Too Busy, is the tender and hilarious story of a summer she spent slowing down and “doing nothing” with her kids. A strong advocate for slowing down family life and getting more play into children’s lives, she has been a guest on many podcasts including Dr. Mike’s Pediacast and The Dad Experience.