08/05/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Faults Of A Family Vacation

My stack of novels is ready. I have sunblock ranging in SPF level from 15 to 50. I have located my bathing suit. By the time you read this I will be away on vacation. I can imagine my BlackBerry vibrating back on the kitchen counter, while I sit under an umbrella gazing over my book at the waves. Then I remember that this is a fantasy. Because there's only one thing wrong with familyvacations: you have to bring your family. In my case that means my extremely patient boyfriend and one mostly well-behaved 8-year-old girl. I am thrilled to be able to spend two weeks with them. We will catch hermit crabs. I will watch my daughter paint seashells and help her dig deep holes in the sand. What I will not do is read my book in peace. I will not sleep late. I probably won't even be able to avoid reruns of "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." And at some point--usually about day two--I will catch myself thinking, "You mean I have to cook all the meals? And do the laundry? At least when I'm at work I get to go out to lunch."