Raincoast Books

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Why Can't We Just Play?

What I Did When I Realized My Kids Were Way Too Busy


Available: 04/04/16
7.78 x 8.67 · 192 pages
CDN $22.95 · pb

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Pam Lobley

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 fromthose long-ago families, why raising kids has changed so drastically, and most importantly, how to stop time once in a while and just play.


Pam Lobley wrote the "Now That's Funny" column for www.newjerseynewsroom.com 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, and she has two books available on Amazon: Better Living Through Chaos, a collection of humor columns, and You Definitely Know You're a Mom When …, a gift book for young mothers.

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 theatres around the country.

Pam started her career as a comedic actress/writer and performed her material at clubs and theatres all over New York City including Caroline's, West Bank Café, Stand-Up New York, and the Houseman Theatre.

She has taught comedy improvisation with the Groundlings and Gotham City Improv in New York City and CCD to preschoolers. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, actor Bill Lobley, their two sons, and their dog, Baxter.