Parenting and summer vacation made more sense when you, as the parent, scheduled play dates, or picnics with friends at the park. It gave structure to the day with little ones. You started with breakfast, and then you met friends (both little friends and parent friends) at the park for some outdoor time. Chances are, during the summer, there were some swim lessons, and maybe some sports camps. Inevitably, there was a nap in there too for everyone.
But just like it's supposed to, things change. Kids grow up, and playdates aren't the same. Summers are packed with kids coming and going from this activity to another. Moms and dads are taxing kiddos from here to there, or they might be driving themselves and siblings.
There becomes this hole in what you knew exsisted as a parent. The kids you once planned days around now tell you that the BFF wants to meet up at the park. What time do you want them home and just text them if you need them sooner? They no longer need you to schedule their social time for interaction.
The memory comes back to you that you once did this. You freely roamed from the pool to the gas station with your friends. You sat on fences and watched the day go by as you talked about girls or boys. There was no need for a car because you had a skateboard and a bicycle. And then you also remember, those were the summers you left mom and dad behind. You became someone new during those times. Little did you know they were too wondering what to do with this "no longer play date" part of their lives.
There comes a time in every parent's life, even though there are still kids at home needing your attention, you can turn a little bit of the attention back on yourself. You can still plan playdates, but now they can be for yourself and your friends (as their kids are also at the park with their friends.) Get a pedicure, or schedule some tee time. Lunch where no one thumbs their nose sounds pretty good too.
Parenting is a mode of constant change. Sometimes we just have to remember to embrace it.