Ah mid-March, the traditional time to observe Spring Break for colleges and some local school districts. A time to sprawl out in the sun, dance in the sand and create everlasting memories with family and friends.
It sounds delightful, thus I understand my kids’ anger that they “are the ONLY ones” not doing anything for Spring Break.
My husband and I entertained the idea of heading south to Florida this week. It sounded dreamy, but there were just some pieces of reality that kept us grounded in northwest Wisconsin.
These dream killers included work schedules and finances. They sound like absurd reasons, right? Obviously Josh and I are idiots for taking those issues into consideration; at least that is how I felt our kids saw it.
I truly understand the how wonderful family trips can be and I really wanted to give that experience to the kids this spring, but the timing just wasn’t right. First off, we recently figured out we need to replace the roof on our home; it is at the top of a list of repairs that we need to start crossing off.
Second, it can be difficult to pre-write newspapers and I am not sure subscribers would appreciate a postcard in replacement of a paper in their mailboxes this week.
That is not to say newspaper editors never get a break. My hubby and I actually have a long overdue, but short anniversary trip planned for Costa Mujeres the end of May, which is actually the third reason Spring Break plans were placed on ice.
We actually felt quite guilty about the situation and decided we could still have a Family Day mid-week after I had both the Amery and Baldwin newspapers out. I sat and went over options with the kids about fun things we could do. The problem with having kids that range in age from 17 down to six is they do not find the same activities to be enjoyable. The chaos that ensued from the Family Day conversation eventually led me to retreat to my bedroom in tears.
I was frustrated the kids seemed unagreeable and unappreciative. Even though they consider me ancient, I also do remember what it feels like to be a kid with big wishes. Isn’t there a quote about wishing in one hand? Anyway, I also understand kids cannot comprehend the cost of maintaining a home and work demands. The whole situation left me emotional. I thought about all of the sacrifices my parents made for my sisters and I, to which we seemed ungrateful. So to my Dad who I know is my one fan that reads this column every week, “THANK YOU.”
I dried my tears and marched back into the living room. I announced to the kids a plan for Family Day and told them we were going to have fun together that day whether they liked it or not darn it! They smiled and said, “O.K.”
I realized a few things from the situation. First, there might be big family trips and little family jaunts. Someday the kids will look back and smile over each one alike. Thanks to the hard work of my grandparents and parents, growing up I went on family trips that ranged from Europe to Florida to Yellowstone to Ohio to Como Zoo in the Twin Cities to various parts of our fine state of Wisconsin. I reflect with joy about family hockey tournament trips for my dad to coach, just as much as weeks spent in England. I know deep down it will be the same someday for my children.
Second lesson…Remember when I was talking about wishes? Well, I always wished for a big house and now I am second-guessing it. If we lived in a smaller home there would be much less roof to replace, which would save money. Also, if we lived in a smaller home, our family would be in such close quarters and so sick of each other that they wouldn’t want to vacation together anyways, again saving money…Just a thought.
I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you, and look forward to readers sharing their thoughts in return.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery WI. 54001 or I can be reached by phone at 715-268-8101.