It is official, winter break is over. The kids went back to school this morning and my house is finally quiet again.
Cue Andy Williams and sing with me now, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
Don’t get me wrong, though! I love those bickering, pantry-raiding mess-makers with every fiber of my being, but daaaaaaang. I think, whether we want to admit it or not, we were all ready for today to arrive.
To listen to today’s post, click here –>
Winter Break in our school district was 15 days long. Honestly, I’d say that was just long enough. A nice two week break from the demands of school and studying, dance and football is fantastic. It’s long enough to really feel like you got a break, but short enough that you haven’t lost all momentum when you return.
The problem with this year’s break, in my mind, wasn’t it’s length, but it’s position as it was situated around the holidays. The kids didn’t get released until 2:00 pm on December 21! That barely gave us a weekend before all of the hubbub of Christmas started up! The week between Christmas and New Years was great, but then you had all of this “dead air,” if you will, between the start of the New Year and their return to school.
Note to the St. Johns County School District — Let’s time this a little better, shall we? Winter break should start on December 18 or 19 and end on about January 3. Using these dates places the week of Holiday-Palooza smack dab in the middle of the break and keeps us all a little more sane and a little less ragey both in the pre-Christmas craziness and the post-New Year slump. Please and Thank you.
Movies to the rescue!
The girls and I went to see Mary Poppins Returns and, like the saying goes, it truly was “practically perfect in every way.” Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda were very much the modern-day Andrews and VanDyke. The little bits of homage to the original movie that were sprinkled throughout were endearing. Some were overt and the girls picked up on them right away. Others were a little more subtle, but were very much appreciated by yours truly.
I wasn’t sure that the magic and wonder of the original that I so dearly loved as a kid would be adequately portrayed in this shiny new sequel. I mean, how do you top “Spoonful of Sugar” and “Step in Time?” Suffice it to say that “Can You Imagine That?” and “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” were delightful. And “The Place Where Lost Things Go” was every bit the sentimental tearjerker that “Feed the Birds” was back in the day. The girls and I give it an A+!
Then, last week, in a fit of desperation known as if I don’t get these children out of this house, we’re all going to lose our dang minds, I took all four kids to see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Now, I am not a Marvel aficionado. In fact, I’ve seen exactly one of the plethora of Spider-Man movies that have come out in the last 10 years or so. My boys, however, are serious Marvel movie junkies. They love them. And, seeing as it was rated PG and animated, I thought we might all enjoy it. Yeah.
Let’s just say that they boys thought it was great. Daughter #1 was totally into it. Daughter #2 (aged 7 and 3/4) proclaimed it to be “loud and scary, but good.” And me? Well, I just sat there thinking what am I even watching? I don’t get it! But, hey. For $45, I had pretty much an entire afternoon’s entertainment and it got us out of the house, so #winning.
And on, well, ALL OF THE DAYS we rested.
I never thought it would happen. For years upon years, break upon break, I’d have kids waking up at o’ dark thirty. I spent a solid decade hearing all of my friends talk about sleeping until 9:00, kids not waking up before dawn, and I would sit in awe and wonder.
Well, for the first time in the history of ever, there was not ONE DAY of break (disregarding Christmas morning, obviously) that my children stumbled down the stairs before 7:00 am. Can I get an AMEN?!
In fact, not a one of us was good for much at all before 9:30 in the morning. It was a beautiful thing. Of course, the 11th grader routinely had to be woken up by about 10:30, but that wasn’t much of a surprise. I really think he could’ve slept til noon if we hadn’t interfered.
But here’s the God’s honest truth…
Yes, we had a good break. No, it wasn’t ideal. In hindsight, there were a lot of things I would have done differently. I would’ve planned more activities to alleviate the boredom. Maybe encouraged a bit more reading and intellectual stimulation and a little less mindless screen time.
That’s what part of me says, anyway.
The bigger part of me, the honest and truth-telling part, has this to say. You ready?
We were on a break and I really don’t give a rat’s patootie what school work they did or didn’t do. Yes, we had a good time, but there were also times where we were sick and tired of looking at each other’s faces and the four walls of our house. So, no, I do not feel guilty about being ready for them to go back to school today. I do not feel guilty about having told them to tuck and roll out of the van and then driving my happy butt to Starbucks straight from the drop-off line. Nor do I feel bad about still being in my pajamas at 10:51 in the morning! We all function better as a family when there is routine and order to our days and week. So hallelujah and amen, winter break is over!