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When school is out, everyone in my household is on vacation until after Labor Day (My mother just retired from teaching, so summers off is the norm for her, as well). Everyone is except me.

I’m still waking up after disrespecting several alarms between 4:45 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., and I begin my days with my regular routine. By 9:30 a.m.–when my work day typically starts–there are two children looking at me to be entertained. I know they’re on vacation, but I still have work to do. They tell me they understand and go back to playing. Meanwhile, I’m continually distracted because I’m listening for silence, which is when I know they are doing something they probably shouldn’t.

About 30 minutes later, my nephew comes back to backyard deck–also known as my spring and summer office–asking me if I want to look at his baseball card collection. He has already asked me thrice, so I oblige. He just got a new pack of cards, but he must start at the very beginning of this thick book and recite each and every name.

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