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HOUSTON, TX—Local mom Rachel Pilkington gathered her family around an ominious velvet curtain Thursday morning before dramatically pulling it away to unveil a totally doable summer activity schedule carefully laid out on a large bulletin board.

A series of index cards connected by several strands of twine completely covered the family’s bulletin board, signifying an end to any bright ideas they may have had about how to use their free time.

“As you can see, our summer vacation is totally planned out, but we will also have daily writing assignments, crafts, swimming lessons, camping, antiquing, and chemistry experiments!” said the wild-eyed household matron as she waved her hands in the air.

“Moooom, it’s the first day of summer. What are you doing?” complained Stephanie Pilkington, age 16. “Can’t we just do nothing for a few weeks?”

“That’s a great question. Let’s check the chart,” Rachel replied. She gave the board a quick courtesy glance before adding, “Nope. Sorry. The time’s all booked up! Nothing I can do.”

“Ugh, she does this every year!” grumbled eight-year-old Timothy Pilkington. “I just want to play with my friends!”

“You can,” Rachel corrected. She then walked her son through his scheduled playdates beat by beat, revealing that over the next month he’d have two incredible hours of fun with his friends.

According to sources, Pilkington took care to wake everyone up extra early for the unveiling so they’d be tired and more susceptible to her single-handedly micromanaging their lives. Her husband, Jim Pilkington, mostly nodded as she spoke at length regarding their big summer plans, knowing that work would get him out of most activities.

“It’s all good, kids,” yawned Jim. “It’s fine.”

“I’m going back to bed!” called out Hunter, age 12, as he left the widely attended kitchen event.

Rachel put a stop to that right away. “No, wait! It’s time for us to make breakfast together! As a family!”

“It’ll be fuuuuuuuuun!”

At publishing time, the family’s children were trying to figure out how to sign up for summer school.


In the social justice system, words are considered violence. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious attacks are members of an elite squad known as the Microaggression Victims Unit. These are their stories.


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