For the third year in a row, my spring break and my kids’ did not align. Not a huge deal, but it does ix-nay the family vacation. Last year, my husband Doo said, “Tough tukus!” and decided to take our four children to Florida anyway. I anticipated a magical time, not having to worry about homework or ear infections or rides to practice, and knowing that the house would be clean and quiet for more than three minutes. But with a dog and a cat driving me bonkers the moment I set foot in the house, and without a carefully orchestrated schedule to keep me on task each day, I found myself stumbling around in a discombobulated state of loneliness and mild depression for the better part of the week. I actually wore two different colors of knee-high boots to school one day, such was my out-of-sorts-ness.
Not wanting a repeat of last year’s footwear debacle, I made several key decisions to help me not only survive spring break, but actually enjoy it. The first was to kennel the dog. The entire time. The second was to binge-watch the entire Sherlock series. Love it! The third, and perhaps the key to the entire fantabulous week, was to schedule a weekend in Louisville to visit my folks.
The cool part of my trip was that I wasn’t in town for a wedding or a shower or a reunion, nor did I make plans to meet up with old friends. Quality moments with the ‘rents was my primary objective. And even better, this was the first time in 20 years that I stayed with Mom and Dad sans husband, children or any of my four sisters. It was just me, them and one delectable pot roast.
Initially, it was a bit weird. I’m so used to competing with either my siblings (including a twin) or the plethora of grandchildren for a smidge of attention that I felt awkward under the limelight. After about five seconds, though, I acclimated and happily accepted the love. Shopping, pedicures, movies, steak dinners and fireside chats filled the most glorious two days of my forties. No worries, no stress, no nothing . . . just fun, relaxation and Kit Kats out the wazoo. As I packed up to leave, all I could think was, “This might have been my life if I’d been an only child and never married.” Dang!
Consequently, I’ve decided to make this bonding weekend an annual event. Two full days of being spoiled rotten, the best remedy I can think of for that “I’m exhausted from being a wife/mother/teacher” feeling. So you go on down to Florida, Doo! I’ll be just fine.