Monday, January 9, 2012

a break and some balance

In the end, a three week break from school proved to be rejuvenating after all.

If you sense a tone of surprise, that's because "vacation" and "rejuvenation" have rarely gone together around here. I am going to go way out on a limb and assume that for some parents the peak of enjoyment is traveling with and entertaining sugar-hyped kids. Either that, or there are a lot of parents out there willing to take far more for the team than I tend to be. Either way, the expectation of vacation, not to mention vacation itself, can sometimes put me right on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I generally need a solid week to recover from a long weekend.

I remember vacations before I was responsible for anyone else, and long before I was expected to keep the train rolling on through, as it were. Vacations meant books and naps and hours in the grass, watching clouds. Over the past decade, they have meant extra laundry and food prep on the fly, combined with limited sleep and even less quiet. This has to be some sort of mistake, I find myself thinking. Surely there is a way to vacation that is like, well, a vacation.

More recently I have been trying to learn to simplify and streamline (and plan, oh my); trying to find that elusive middle ground of enough activity and enough relaxation. For all of us.

And this winter break, for the first time in a long long time, we somewhow seemed to landed well in that middle ground range. Visits with cousins and grandparents and books on the couch; skiing and sleeping in. Juggling seven kids downtown for ice cream and a solo trip with the birthday boy for a donut.

Ahhh, balance. I'm always so startled when it happens to show up.

We closed out our break with a trip to the ice rink downtown. A good place to put the finishing touches on balance.

School starts back up tomorrow: early mornings and homework and long miles in the dark on bikes. Back to the rhythm of days and nights and weekends. Back to the rhythm of quiet during naptime and remembering to make dinner.

Back to a renewed search for balance.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful commentary on vacations (or the lack thereof once you're the parent). Amen to all you said. Funny how life is so carefree when you aren't able to appreciate it, but when you can it's no longer an option. Ah, the irony of life.

    I've had some thoughts lately, too, about balance (and not just during vacations). Now to see if I can follow through on them...