Spring Break 2021

Do you have a little PTSD from Spring Break last year? I honestly think the last year was really good for us, in a lot of ways. But as my kids will be home with us this week, I am also having flashbacks.

Last year, Spring Break started on Friday, March 13, 2020 and we expected it to maybe last an extra week before kids went back to school.  Then, the schools extended it a third week to train teachers up on a new system that we all learned on the fly. We went and picked up the contents of our children’s desks, lockers, etc. and thought “ok, we can do this for a month or two.” And then.

My kids’ Spring break last year ended in September when they started the new school year in person. Many parents around the country still have their kids home with them, or are only now starting back to in-person school a couple of days a week, a year later.

So, what has the last year brought to us?

More family time. A lot of togetherness. Cherishing some old school memories, and relishing in our kids being able to do some of those things we loved about our own childhoods – sidewalk chalk paintings, riding bikes and taking long walks around the neighborhood, sprinklers, and playing endlessly with no places to go.

Also, endless time with no places to go. Lots of togetherness. No travel. Juggling all the things from home, including work deadlines and family and meals and kids and life, with no end in sight. Remote school. All the masks. No travel.

back up plan graphic
We have lived a year of back-up plans…and back-ups for the back-ups.

Friends, we have managed to get through this last year with a global pandemic. We have had paradigm shifts in thinking about a lot of things. Women have left the workforce in droves in order to help their kids with remote school. Moms are the caregivers, the family managers, the ones we look to for all the answers. And we have not had those answers all the time, especially this year.

I’ve written about a lot of things along the way:

I have celebrated our embrace of the little things, and mourned the loss of things we took for granted before.

We did take things for granted. It’s human nature to get used to doing things one way, and it takes a big adjustment to change. For all of us.

Technology has helped. Zoom, Google Meets, SeeSaw, and all the others. We have all learned the ins and outs of these platforms and become experts – and so have our kids. Also, the downfalls of YouTube ads, the value of good security software to protect our kids, and – of course – having excellent WiFi.

We have definitely learned that technology can be both a blessing and a curse.
Photo credit: Christina Morillo on Pexels

I delayed my business re-start for more than six months, and am only now getting back into the swing of working again and re-training my kids to be respectful while I’m on the phone. Somehow, my kids demand all of us be quiet while they have Zoom classes and for their activities, but still, even after this last year, they choose to be as loud as possible when one of the adults has a phone call.

So, Spring Break 2021 feels a little different than it has in the past. Add in a monster snowstorm for the Denver metro area (which was mostly rain and sleet at my house), and I’m happy that we didn’t make any big plans. I am thankful for my kids playing together, glad that the youngest wants to spend a couple days with the grandparents, and that we still have sports happening for the older two. And the kids are happy that they have those activities this week, when in other years they would have complained about going to practices during Spring Break.  

I had a text conversation with another mom last week, about limiting our kids’ activities. Last fall, I wrote about the Busyness of Childhood. I used to try to limit how many things my kids did. The mom’s taxi routine can be exhausting, and I tried for awhile to keep them in only two things at any given time. Now, I’m for doing everything they can, as long as there are no scheduling conflicts.

Our kids literally had everything stop last year, for months. They were sad, and angry, and craved the contact that sports and clubs bring. My kids are lucky! We went back to school in person in September, and we had some modified rules for various activities. But we have been doing things. And it’s been ok.

The middle (our son) just finished basketball, and has added golf and baseball practices for the spring. Our little is in dance and has a recital scheduled for the end of May – several weeks later than usual, but it is happening. And both of them have been able to have Tae Kwon Do classes and a modified format for testing. The teenager just started volleyball practices for the spring season that was delayed from the fall.

We are slowly coming out of the strange year that we have had. All of our parents have managed to get the vaccine, and I feel better with them protected. My husband and I will get the shot, whenever it becomes available to us. We are ready to get out and do things again, and we are happy to keep being careful until that point.

So, one year later, I am truly hoping that Spring Break this time is only a week. And that all of us are able to get out and live our lives closer to what was the old “normal” again soon.

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