Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine

An essay on the stresses of summer has readers weighing in.

Souring on Summer

The Joanna Weiss article about summertime stress (Perspective, August 26) highlighted a number of painful issues felt by parents and their children who wish for the lazy days of summer that many of us remember from long ago. However, her implication that teachers have large quantities of vacation time at the end of the school year reinforces a mistaken notion and perpetuates the real myth. Most Massachusetts teachers spend their summers working other jobs and/or going to school. I remember my husband, who taught high school science for over 25 years, spending long, hot, summer days painting houses to earn enough money to make ends meet (while I worked, too). He relished the brief week or two that he could spend with the children before the next school year was upon us.

Toby K. Ward Lexington

Weiss’s article was spot on — my goodness, it was as if she was part of my family for the last 12 summers. I really enjoyed reading it.

George Borokhov Newton

A retired teacher’s point of view: 1. Many schoolteachers have both children and summer jobs. 2. Planning the school calendar around the vagaries of New England weather is dicey, at best. 3. Appropriate summer reading keeps minds sharp and builds lifelong habits. 4. Not all schools have air conditioning. 5. Yes, some teachers are driving off to the beach and the mountains on their unpaid vacation.

Rita C. DeBellis Woburn


Enjoyed the article on childhood summer. But as we plan to drop off our last child (of five) to college this week, please step back and enjoy these frantic years somehow. It has a bittersweet ending and it does end.

Scott Oliver Duxbury

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Weiss should invest in a nanny rather than camps. The kids can sleep in once in a while, hang out in the neighborhood and take some day trips with the nanny. Then the kids will feel that they are truly on vacation from scheduling, and mom will not be clamoring for a longer school year so she doesn’t have to “fill the weeks” of the summer. She and her kids might then have time to do some summer reading.

Kathleen Drane Plymouth

Amen, sister! This summer my 9-year-old twins went to Boy Scout and Girl Scout camps. Girls Scouts have bus service from our neighborhood, but Boy Scouts required four hours of daily drive time, to get our son 14 miles from Cambridge to Milton and back each day. Yes, there were other options closer to home. But for our kids, outdoor activity and Scout structure made for a happy summer. Not so much for mom and dad. I couldn’t agree with you more that I’m glad to be sending them back to school.

Diane Johnson Cambridge

Loved Weiss’s recent piece on the end of summer. She nailed it. I can’t stop laughing about the February bit — so true. Who plans summer in February!? Everyone now, evidently.

Cory Mian Somerville

We have three children but my husband and I have always chosen not to feed into the stressful frenzy that amounts to some people’s lives. We gave up a lot but our kids had their freedom during the summer and we weren’t stressed. We didn’t get to go on many vacations because we didn’t have the money, but I wouldn’t want to base a vacation on requiring several months’ worth of savings and “teeth-gritting envy. . . of everyone else’s Instagram feed.”

Kathleen M. Raywood Newburyport

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