What did all of you parents do on Spring Break? I talked with parents last week, polling them. Some were heading to warm winter destinations. Some just took the week of of work and stayed home with their kids and did lots of fun stuff in the cities. Some continued to work, but had some pretty complex play-date schedules planned. Others shipped the kids to the grandparents for the week while they worked. Yet others shipped kids and themselves in different directions (kids to small town MN and grown-ups to Mexico, for example).
Unless you are living it up with Shamu and the kids at SeaWorld, you might feel some guilt about doing anything less than spectacular during their week off. I’m here to say, don’t. There is so much running and scheduling in the average week that just the kids being off of school is a relaxation treat in and of itself. No running for the 7:00a.m. bus. No evenings trying to fit practice, homework, dinner and a bath into their schedule. There is something to be said for the luxury of the non-schedule. Also note, in the small town Minnesota of my youth I hadn’t heard of schools having a week-long spring break. Already a perk for my little city-going children.
No Shamu, no Disney fairy princesses… It’s okay, really. If I had taken time off work and stayed in the cities with them, our week would have included King Tut at the Science Museum, art camp or classes at Abrakadoodle or a visit to The Works, a hands-on, minds-on museum all about engineering, science and technology. And maybe a movie… although they did walk out of Rango earlier this week with their grandmother as my 7-yr-old could not bear the ending she anticipated.
So here’s what we did do for break. No regrets. The kids spent Monday with grandma on one side and have been with their grandparents on the other side since Tuesday. I’m picking them up tomorrow. Until that point in time. I’m on vacation, even if I’m working.
Staycation Day 1: Parents: Rainy. Cold. Flat tire on the way home. Uninterrupted reading by the fire. Dinner conversation.
Kids: Three hours in the car. Pretending to be ducks and dogs. All I get out of the daily phone check-in is a wack-wack and woof.
Staycation Day 2: Parents: Freezing rain. Sleet. Snow. Heavy snow. Popcorn and soda for the big-screen at the historic Parkway Theater at 48th and Chicago. The King’s Speech. Dinner conversation.
Kids: Special time with their great auntie. Now they are so far-gone on collective agreement that they’re watching their own movies. Upon check-in, Calvin is still pretending to be a dog, now with a name – Arthur. Ava is pretending to be an architect.
Staycation Day 3: Parents: Slushy. Sunny. Optimism abound. Haircolor and bizarre appointment that ends with me looking like a new superhero – Octawoman. Date night in Uptown with a boy I like.
Kids: Haven’t quite found time to check-in yet today…. too busy listening to Belinda and I hear her saying vacation’s meant to be spent alone. Until tomorrow at least.