Today is the last day of spring break.
Most moms I know are absolutely thrilled. To be back on a schedule? No, not that. To not have the kids at home all day? Nope, not that either. (Though honestly, I saw one of Caroline’s friends for the first time in a week yesterday, and she had a black eye. I raised my eyebrows at her mother.)
Mainly it’s so I can stop trying to have fun.
The spring break pressure started last year, when we were apparently the only second-grade family not going somewhere exotic. At least that’s the way Caroline saw it.
So I told her we’d try to go somewhere this year.
And, truth be told, we did try. We tried for skiing in Colorado, where Whit’s sister lives, but spring break was too late and the slopes were closed. We tried for Atlantis, but the idea of spending $10,000 on a water park in the Bahamas stopped me short. (The $10,000 price tag was a deciding factor, too, don’t get me wrong. But come on. Perhaps again I don’t know what I don’t know. But I don't have $10,000 so the point is moot anyway.) We tried for a cruise, but none of them were leaving until today. Right when I need the kids to go back to school; exactly when I don’t need to be trapped on a ship with them for a week.
I’m not much a keep-up-with-the-Joneses type. I met the Joneses, decided I could never keep up, so decided it wasn’t worth the effort. But the kids hate being (again, their perception) the only ones who don’t do anything fun over spring break.
So, the beach trip. Really, it was fun. Short, but fun. They went in the ocean, built sand castles, got buried, looked for shells – fun, fun, fun. That counts. But then we came home, and I started to stress. How would I make the looming second half of spring break fun? I had to. Otherwise they’d forget the beach trip and tell me spring break was boring. At which point I think I’d shoot myself.
So every darn day has been an all-out assault on boredom. (YES, I think children should be bored. YES, boredom is the precursor to creativity. NO, I do not want children who must be entertained 24/7. But guess what? When you’ve announced that there’s no TV/Dsi/wii/computer allowed and it’s those cavernous, long days of spring break, you suffer. Not the kids. They just bug you to death. So you’ve got to make a pre-emptive strike.)
Bike rides? Check? Breakfast, lunch and dinner out? Check. Multiple birthday cakes? Check. Playdates? Check. Massive mud fights? Check. Rock climbing? Check? Movie, in a theater, with popcorn? Check. Looking at the stars, looking at the clouds? Check. Park? Check. Board games, books? Check. Crafts? Check. Easter celebration that included a petting zoo and a magician? Check. Snow-cone stand? Check. Sprinklers, hoses, multiple changes of clothes? Check, check, check.
It's made me so, so tired. But still, we soldier on. One more day.
If they tell me they’re bored once today, or that spring break was boring, this is what I am going to do. I am going to have them sit on one couch. I am going to sit on another couch. And for an hour, I’m going to let them steep in true boredom.
And I might do something maddening, like sit and read a book.
That’ll show ‘em.