This is the week of spring break in Atlanta. Here I sit at my computer, NOT at a beach, NOT with my kids, NOT having “spring break.” Why? Because my kids are out of school, grown, out of the house, having had spring breaks of their own that don’t involve or include me.
Am I sad? Yes. A little. Spring break reminds me of when my kids were at home and after all the hard work, early morning school rituals, after school activities, work, and busy lives, spring break was looked forward to, anticipated, longed for…
In my reflective, melancholy state, I’m looking back to our first “real” spring break we took as a family. We didn’t go visit relatives. We went to Key West! I couldn’t have been more excited. We had an entire week at a HOTEL, in KEY WEST where Hemingway’s house is, in FLORIDA where it’s WARM. We lived in bleak OHIO at the time.
The anticipation was beyond great. As we used to say, we were “poor as church mice”, so to take the kids so far away, on an AIRPLANE, and again, stay at a HOTEL, was a HUGE DEAL to us. And we made the most of it.
We rode bikes around the key, strolled the streets, bought a painting, which still hangs in my home today (reframed), and I rode my bike BY MYSELF to visit Hemingway’s house and see all the weird cats. We ate outside every meal, with chickens walking by on the sidewalk. We swam in the POOL, walked in the ocean, and saw the Southern Most Point in the US. It was magical.
We had many spring breaks after that, and they were also memorable and wonderful, but this trip I will truly never forget. My kids probably have forgotten, but I won’t.
We did buy bagels and “flavored cream cheeses” (a real treat) and had lunch in our room, but we ate dinner out EVERY NIGHT at REALLY COOL RESTAURANTS. Did I mention how special this trip was?
Those of you who are treating your kids now to a spring break trip to an ocean, a mountain top, a big city, or just somewhere outside your suburbs, TREASURE THIS MOMENT.
Life goes by fast. Your kids will grow up and have their own spring breaks, with their friends, with their families. If you’re lucky, you may get to tag along. Create the memories, savor them, memorialize them. And then when you are no longer “spring breaking” you can, like me, smile and reflect on the incredible moments that you shared.