Spring Breaks

April 9th, 2011

So another two week long spring break draws to a close.  I’m sad to see it end, but the sadness is not completely unalloyed.  Basically my feelings about school vacation break down thusly:

WHY I LOVE WHEN THE KIDS ARE ON VACATION:

1.  I don’t have to get up early to make three school lunches every morning (one gluten-free, one vegetarian, and one “you never put anything I like in there”).

2.  If I wake up in the middle of the night (and I always wake up in the middle of the night), I don’t start counting the hours left until I have to get up and make three school lunches and then lie awake thinking, “If I don’t get back to sleep soon, I’ll feel awful all day tomorrow.”

3.  If I stay up too late, I don’t count the hours until I have to get up and make three school lunches and think, “There’s no way I won’t feel awful all day tomorrow.”

4.  I have fun hanging out with the kids.

5.  We get to travel sometimes.  Traveling with the family is always fantastic, even though someone always gets sick and someone gets overtired and someone is ALWAYS hungry no matter where we are or what time it is, and my husband and I usually end up furious with each other because he doesn’t like to waste a second when we’re in a new city and I like to waste lots of seconds.  Actually, it’s kind of amazing that I love traveling with my family, given all that.  But I do.

6.  I don’t have to constantly think/say, “Shouldn’t you guys be doing your homework?  Didn’t you say you have a test this week?  Whatever happened with that paper you were going to rewrite?  Did you finish that team project you were supposed to be working on?” and so on.

7.  Without the pressure of homework, the kids will actually help cook meals and sometimes even clean up.  And they’re usually in a good mood.  We laugh a lot together.

8.  Life slows down to an easier pace.

WHAT I DON’T LOVE ABOUT SCHOOL VACATIONS:

1. I don’t get a single moment to myself.

That’s it.

The only downside to vacation.  But it’s a lot.

Four kids, two dogs, one cat . . . someone always needs me.  Someone’s always talking or barking or meowing in my face.  Someone always needs a drive somewhere or a snack in the kitchen or something to do.  I can’t finish a thought.  I don’t remember what privacy or solitude is.

Of course, given the alternative, it’s a nice problem to have.  I’d rather have too much company than too little.  And I know from experience that the first day all the kids are back in school, I’ll say a cheerful goodbye to them (after wearily hauling myself out of bed to make their lunches), slam the door behind them and bask in the solitude and quiet of the house . . . for a few hours.  And then I’ll start to notice how maybe the house is a little too quiet. And then I’ll start to look at the clock.  And by the time I go to pick them up or greet them at the door, I’ll by dying to see them again and hear how their day went.

And pretty soon I’ll be counting the days until summer vacation.

first time we've played in snow in years

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