I hesitate even as I write this, but I think that after twelve plus years of maternal stressful joy — or is it joyful maternal stress? — I have at last come out on the other side: just joy. My youngest child is now four, turning five tomorrow, and though he is a little boy with a lot of energy and a fondness for mischief, this is the first summer vacation on which I have been able to relax without a young actress/ grad student/ or some other such quasi-disaffected quester in tow. The other day not only was I able to work while he, and my daughter, who just turned nine, played together in front of me, but I was even able to nap. Outside. During the day! Suffice it to say that this has never happened before, not even back when I had all that actress/ grad student help, a fact which would seem to negate the whole point of my having brought those girls along with me on vacation in the first place. To not having help and yet feeling anything but helpless.