"An American Family"by Susana Rosende

It's summer and Mom has "reverse visitation," meaning alternating weekends from Friday evening to Sunday evening, Wednesday overnight, and alternating Tuesday and Thursday for dinner until 8:00 PM. (Gotta love that Florida Family Law. King Solomon couldn't have done it better.)

Big brother Brian makes his own schedule, spending time with both paternal and maternal grandparents, and with HIS Dad, Step Mom, and baby sister.

Confusing? YES. Chaotic? Can be.

That's why Mom has calendars at home, work, on her PC, and in her purse, all detailing the whereabouts of both kids on any given day.

Summer means there is no regular routine. Dinner time is a lonely affair, as Joey always eats dinner with his paternal grandparents, in whose home he spends his summer days.

Brian is in and out depending on the week and the month.

Mom becomes the "fun parent" and prays for summer to end and normality to begin.

Well, as normal as possible in a family where everyone has a different last name and the kids have two different visitation schedules ANY WAY. The Empty Nest Syndrome hits single mothers much sooner than it should.

This is America. We're an American family.

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