Cool stuff to do with your teenage kids this summer!

Our children are just borrowed.Our time is limited, and we know this from the start. Sometimes, that’s our sanity right there, like when they can’t go 20 seconds without wailing MOMMY! With some complaint, usually involving a dispute over the three most troublesome objects: blankets, necklaces and yo-yos. But most of the time, it’s so sad we don’t even think about it, because it’s a heart breaker. So stop, remember, hug, enjoy. This will be over too soon. Probably not unlike life itself. I wrote that a 12 years ago, and not that much has changed The three most troublesome objects are cell phones, video game consoles and the front seat of the car. I don't hear "MOOOOOOOM" every twenty seconds, but when I do it's usually a doozy. And it's really hard not to think about how our limited time together.

As a mom of teenagers, things are very different than they were when my kids were little, but they aren't any easier or less rewarding. They're becoming four of the coolest people I know. We can really talk about stuff and they often have very interesting points of view. They also have problems that don't have correct answers. They don't need clean diapers, they need to know which college to chose. They might not be hitting their sister, but I may get a call from school that Go Guardian caught them searching for something off limits -- the other three troublesome things: sex guns and illegal drugs (I haven't gotten any of those particular calls but I'm guessing I will.)

That said, we still have a summer in front of us. I didn't scramble in the spring to sign them up for camps because the ones that fill up are for little kids -- even if their age is permitted, they really aren't interested. My oldest got a job as a camp counselor, but everyone else is at loose ends. They'll all do some kind of academic reinforcement over the summer and a little bit of dance or hockey or drawing, depending on the kid. Right now I'm trying to fill up the rest of the time. Here are my plans

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  • Quirky road trip: My oldest found a place known for "really good burgers," which didn't seem like a reason to go to upstate New York. But then I looked it up. Rooster's in Brewster New York. It's adorable, has well regarded food including burgers, soft serve AND mini-golf? Ok, we can do it! Its an hour and a half drive through some traditionally traffic challenged areas, so we might have to add in some other reasons. College campus visits perhaps?

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  • We have this book called "111 Places in New York That You Must Not Miss" One magical day we found the grate sound in Times Square (an art installation from the 1970s that is completely auditory!) a cupcake ATM and the actual Algonquin Lounge (where Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle met to exchange quips back in the 1920s). There are 108 more places in this book, and we intend to find them all. Maybe not in one summer though.

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  • Mountain Biking at Mountain Creek. The wintertime Ski Resort has Mountain Biking in the summer. You have to arrive early if you want to rent equipment from them, because they sell out. You can bring your own, but there are certain requirements for your bike so check in advance here.

  • Waterfall tour! It started when we took fellow Madison Mom writer Laura Axler's advice and headed to Duke Farms, where they have a waterfall that cascades on a set schedule. I had heard there were other waterfalls in New Jersey to visit. This site lists a bunch of waterfalls that we'll try to get to this summer. They even have info on waterfalls in Maryland and Pennsylvania if we get really into it. #Goals.

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Of course, the thing about teens, especially more than one, is that they can never seem to agree on what to do, so I might just wait them out. I'll need something fun to do when they grow up anyway.