On the road

The twisting, two-lane road running from summertime to schooltime is littered with countless potholes and ridiculous roadside attractions.

The Valley of Cute New Alarm Clocks, which seems novel and thrilling at first, loses its luster once everyone realizes it is only open before dawn. Both the World's Largest Pile of Paper and the Museum of Uneaten Lunches will leave you reaching for your Dramamine.

If you've traveled this road before you know the alllure and pitfalls of the most popular tourist traps. The PTA Mountain Range, with its promises of glory and satisfaction, sees many a climber stumble from volunteer vertigo if they don't watch their step. The quaint Extracurricular Activity Stands with their hand-painted signs selling everything from soccer teams to scout troops...taxes might be included, but make no mistake there are hidden costs, usually in the form of snack mom or chaperone or person in charge of sewing on patches.

Be wary, travelers. This journey, it is full of sharp turns and very few straightaways.

Even getting close to home presents its own challenges. At many an intersection there is a grief-stricken child holding out his hand and begging for your attention. The clever ones make signs: "Will Work (kinda) for a Homework Pass." "Need Just One Ride to Practice." "Can you Spare a Video Game Privilege?" Give him a buck if you must, but then drive on, mama, drive on.

You have a destination, and I swear it's gotta be just around the corner.