Today marks the beginning of Lilia’s summer vacation. (My son still has a couple days to go.) I got my daughter to do two pages of homework. Only about 98 more pages to go. Seriously. I’m always somewhat bemused by the amount of homework the teachers load on during summer vacation, as if homework and vacation even belong in the same sentence! She never manages to get it done. Making her put a sticker on a chart every day after brushing her teeth gets a little tedious after week #1. But this year, she has a shot at finishing the workbooks (about 50 pages each) because I have hired a tutor! The tutor is a lovely young woman skilled at sign language with a teaching degree. How perfect is that?! I felt a little guilty at first, having lived among self-sacrificing Japanese mothers for such a long time, but at least I’m not sending my kids to cram school.