Is it just me, or is spring break awesome?
And not the college kind of spring break, which, if memory serves me here, was fun in an alcohol-specific way.
But I’m talking about spring break in my mid-thirties, four kids deep, when two weeks off of school doesn’t even mean a vacation. Instead, it means three things that I’ve come to deeply appreciate:
- No alarm clocks (except for my husband, and we all feel terrible for him).
- No making school lunches, and for some reason, this feels like a mini vacation all by itself. What is it about packing lunches? It doesn’t take long, but on those occasions, I don’t have to do it, that spare ten or twelve minute feels a-ma-zing.
- Four kids all home together, which seems like it should automatically raise your blood pressure but translates to a noticeable boost in productivity for work-from-home me.
This list seems a little pathetic, now that it’s laid out here. I love spring break so I can sleep? And not make lunches? And work?
Because that’s the thing about having kids. Your priorities change, and so do your standards.
With one or two exceptions, this attitude about spring break doesn’t seem to be the norm. Friends on Facebook commiserate with one another, “Only five more days and we get to send them back!” Even my real-life friends roll their eyes and tell me they’re looking forward to getting “back on schedule.”
And it’s funny to me, not because I don’t have a schedule, but because I love our holiday schedule so much more. And really, it’s a lot of the same stuff – it just starts later and is way more relaxed.
Even if we’re up past bedtime to watch a movie on a Tuesday – because you can totally do that during spring break! – the kiddos still get up around the same time. My to-do list follows the same patterns, mostly, but I seem to have more time to get stuff done.
How is that possible, when the kids in the house have doubled?
Maybe it’s because there’s a novelty to spending time together on a Thursday morning when everyone is usually at school and our two-year-old is riding solo for at least half the day. Or maybe they’re just feeling generally good-natured and sunny because, you know, freedom.
But whatever it is, my kids seem to have a really great dynamic during school breaks. They spend hours playing complicated games together, and the older two look after the younger two, and it’s all really sweet and so, so helpful.
The funny part is, all my kids actually like school! But, well, they like not going to school even more. And I totally get it.
So today, on the first day back after two weeks off, I’m feeling a little blue. The kiddos weren’t overly bummed, but we were all feeling that grim reality of alarm clocks and homework and getting back to the grind.
They felt it when they pulled on their school uniforms and gathered backpacks and library books.
And I felt it when I started packing those freaking school lunches.