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When Playtime's Over

Nancie Thomas and sons Conall, left, and Jeremy Rubin-Thomas of Washington try to squeeze every drop of fun out of the weekend before their hectic week begins.
Nancie Thomas and sons Conall, left, and Jeremy Rubin-Thomas of Washington try to squeeze every drop of fun out of the weekend before their hectic week begins. (Mark Finkenstaedt Ftwp - Mark Finkenstaedt)

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Friday, October 12, 2007

How fantastically fortunate to be part of a family that loves, above all, just being together.

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And how sad that Sunday nights mark the start of being apart.

Different schools, buses, lessons and lunch partners.

It's no wonder, then, that 6-year-old Jeremy Rubin-Thomas (he likes to be called Remy like the rat in "Ratatouille") wants to sleep in the same room as his parents come Sunday.

"Remy gets into this mode of 'I'm really tired, but I don't want to go to sleep in my room. I want to sleep in your room.' It's definitely a Sunday night thing," says his mom, Nancie Thomas of Washington.

And Thomas has her own Sunday night mode, much as she tries to fight it. All weekend, she and her boys -- Remy; his 8-year-old brother, Conall; and their dad, Jim Rubin -- have little escapades and big adventures. Biking, camping, beachgoing, popcorn popping.

Then: "All of a sudden, it's not just Sunday, it's Sunday night, and we've got to start all over again," says Thomas, a conservation lawyer.

The sun dims, the liveliness fades and the playmates turn back into parents.

"It's 'Okay, dinner. Okay, you need to take showers. Okay, do you have everything?' " Thomas says.

School pictures are the next day. The violin hasn't been practiced. The grocery shopping still needs to be done.

And then there is Remy, a kindergartner at Janney Elementary. He likes school. He and Conall both do.

But still he fights sleep: If he can just stay awake, perhaps the weekend won't have to end.


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© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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