The magic week is here for us! Spring Break. All of our older kids, cousins, and friends back in Texas completed their spring breaks way back in March when it was still freezing cold. Hopefully for all of us experiencing spring break this week, the weather will cooperate and we can get outside to play or garden. Back when I was teaching, I always planned to use Spring Break to catch up on all of my grading and housework. Planned, I say, because I hardly ever used the time that way.
Spring break should be a break. A time to relax and give yourself a few gifts. Sleep late. Go to movies. Play games with the kids. Drive them to the beach and walk along the sand. We all need time to sit in a chair until we are bored. A time to think and ponder. A time to be aware of our surroundings and be thankful. AND as is often the case, spring break is a good time to clean. Spring Break=Spring cleaning and we all know that wonderful verse in the bible (not) that our mothers quoted to us: Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
I am quite sure that you have heard the groans of my children for the past few days. We are cleaning and throwing away. I repeat throughout the day, “If it is broken, torn, dirty, or missing a part – throw it out!” The boys have a penchant for hording small scraps of paper, old candy, wheels, gears, balls, string, yarn, branches, rocks, paperclips, pennies, and old cards. Their drawers are full of everything except clothes. The clothes are under the bed, in the closet, and on the floor.
“What is this old Dr. Pepper box for?”
“Don’t throw that out. It is a space station.”
“What about this shoe box with the holes?”
“Yep.” No remorse. I rattle the box and find that it is filled with yellow #2 pencils.
“The box with the tape and yarn all over it?”
They sigh and look at me as if I just fell off the turnip truck. “We use that when we set up our zip lines. Please don’t throw that away.”
I turn to leave and try to look behind the door. The oldest one reaches out and holds the door against the wall. “I will get it. I will get it.” I give him the eye and let go of the door. I turn at the hallway and look back into the room. “I will be back in one hour. I expect to see changes.” I head to the washer and dryer. I do the laundry, sit outside in the swing, and bake some bread. Everyone is doing their “own thing” and I forget that I am to check on the boys room.
I walk back down the hall and open the door. They are setting up some kind of super fantastic Lego city/after the war/wasteland. Each T-shirt is a mountain to hide behind. Shoes become hideouts, books are stacked like buildings, and all the boxes are integral to the infrastructure of the new city. Socks are tied together to form bridges between the beds and Lego folks are hanging from pieces of yarn all over the room – even the curtains.
They look at me with pleading eyes. The youngest folds his hands together in supplication. Their city is a masterpiece! “We worked so hard on it. We worked all day and didn’t bug you once!”
I can’t resist.
“Can you find a place to go to bed tonight?”
They quickly assure me that their beds will be fine. I see beds covered in bodies, trash, and various other things.
They smile the smile of almost victory – kind of pleading and kind of saying thanks.
They probably used more of their brains today making the city than they do in a normal school day so I turn and walk out.
“Just until Sunday night. Then we have to clean.”
I hear them whoop and close the door.
It is spring break after all.
I hope you all had a wonderful break from school and were able to have some relaxing time with your kids this week.