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why can't we just play

why can't we just play

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 1950’s. 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 other 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 1950’s. 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 the Author

Pam Lobley wrote the “Now That’s Funny” column for newjerseynewsroom for several years. She was a regular columnist on the Op Ed page of The Bergen Record, and her humor columns have appeared in many other places, including The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chicago Tribune, Patch.com, and others. Her blog, Better Living Through Chaos, delights viewers each week. As a playwright, her musical, “Perfect Mothers,” was part of the 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival, and she has had several plays produced at various theaters around the county. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, actor Bill Lobley, their two sons, and their dog, Baxter.


We’re all about moms supporting mom writers and authors! Our Currently Reading page is updated every few weeks and features new “mom life” books — all written by moms! If you’ve recently read a mom-related book that you think we’ll love, or if you’ve recently published your own book, we’d love to add it to our nightstand. Please email, Kristin@thetribemagazine.com


Past Recommendations:

The Magic of Motherhood

Meditations for Mamas

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