Summer is almost here.

For parents of school-age kids, this means freedom from the grind of homework, piano lessons, scout meetings and soccer practice. It’s time to relax and take in the summer breeze with the youngsters, right?

If only summer were that simple.

For many parents in the Washington area, summer is less about sun and fun and more about calendars and carpools. Some families bounce from day camps to after-care at full speed and then screech to a halt for a beach vacation, where everyone has one eye on their email.

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