Here’s the thing about spring break

Vans Warped Tour - Dallas, TexasIt was about this time last year when I mentioned to our exchange student, Guillermo, that we’d be taking a trip to Argentina next spring and hoped to visit his family.

Ever since I’d left Mike and the kids for a month-long exchange to Buenos Aires, exactly ten years ago, I’ve been itching to go back and experience that very vibrant, exciting part of the world with my family. I think if one could combine New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Seattle into one city where everyone switches randomly from speaking Spanish to Italian to German, it would be a little like Buenos Aires.

Well, here it is spring break, 2015, and airline tickets to Argentina have yet to magically materialize.

There are several reasons for this, the biggest being the fact that it’s freaking expensive to fly an entire family to Argentina.

Even if we still had a travel budget, we also thought until recently that the ski season would last through spring break, which meant Jack, with his job on the hill, would be busy raking in the scratch. This year, though, a lovely spring came early and put a significant damper on ski season, as well as Jack’s ability to earn a wage riding on the chair lift all day with preschoolers.

So we’re here, at the outset of spring break with a house full of kids who have no real plans. Mike and I are thinking of taking them out for some day hikes, and Jack’s going to scope out places to apply for his next part-time gig. There might be a movie or two, but that’s about it for our Epic Spring Break Adventure.

I’ve heard from a couple of people with teenagers who are suffering angst about not doing anything EPIC with their spring break and it makes me want to paint a little sad clown face for them and host a teensy-tiny pity party.

Wait, here’s a 7 foot clown singing a sad song for that occassion.

While my own kids are certainly not ones to shy away from a good complaint if the notion hits them, I’m thankful if anyone around here’s got a beef about the lack of some big vacation, they’re keeping it to themselves.

Then again, when school’s out I can be pretty sure I won’t hear a peep from anyone under forty until noon. And then when they are up, they tend to tiptoe around me when they hear fingers hitting the computer keyboard with force, like I’m pounding out Beethoven’s 5th on the piano.

Does the fact no one’s complaining about the lack of Epic Spring Break plans around here stop the lecture train from rolling?

Does a one-legged duck swim in a circle?

Wait a minute … it … uh …

… Anyway, I’ve got a full head of righteous indignation going on here, and no place to direct it.

So give me your grouchy, your peevish, your petulant masses yearning for free beach space, your mopey parasites continually emptying your fridge and dirtying every dish in the damn house without so much as a thank you.

In other words: got a kid whining about a boring spring break? Send them to me. We’ll have a talk.

Because, since WHEN did “spring break” have anything to do with EPIC, anyway? I don’t remember doing anything more epic than catching up on sleep and television during spring breaks of auld. That sounded perfectly fine to me back in the day, and it sounds like a little bit of heaven right now.

Do you know who is having an Epic Spring Break Adventure? Apparently, anyone posting on social media, leading me to feel grateful for the umpteenth time that back in the day, all I had to compare myself to was other kids in my working-class peer group, and all the big-hairs on MTV.

And I’d have taken the big hair over an Epic Spring Break in a nanosecond.

For some of today’s kids (and more than a few adults), exposure to the crap they see online translates into everyone currently having gobs more fun than they, and a giant conspiracy on the part of the entire universe to make their lives suck.

Turns out there is an astonishing lack of spontaneously materializing plane tickets going around.

I know. It bums me out too.

Here’s a thought for all those out there worried that the universe has formed a little bubble of no fun around them in particular: maybe the fact that you’re not hearing about run-of-the-mill spring breaks is because nobody’s screaming the boring little tidbits of their day from the social media rooftops.

I mean, that would be stupid:

Too much sleep again. Guess 12 hours is my tipping point. #LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Damn, people, can’t anyone make it to the store these days? #WheresMyLuckyCharms

I can now proudly claim to have memorized all the lines from every episode of How I Met Your Mother. #GottaHaveAGoalYo

How about this: if the universe hasn’t seen fit to bless you with a memorable vacation, maybe it’s a message you’re supposed to be doing something else with your week, like catching up with friends, reading a gazillion library books, helping out around the house, sleeping in, or all of the above.

The time will come when you don’t get a week off in the middle of March for absolutely no reason, so live this thing up, people.

There now. Yes I do feel better. Thank you. We’ll do the Argentina thing next year, I’m sure.


Got a complainer on hand? Send them my way, and then vote. A vote a day keeps the hits coming.

Thank you.



Photo by: @giovanni

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  1. Half of my kiddos\’ spring break was spent at their grandparents\’. My oldest was appalled at this plan. He was so sure he would miss out on something epic being away from his friends for \’so long\’. Uh huh.

  2. I still have young kids, so they are cool if spring break entails time at the pool or a visit to the movie. This year, my 10-year-old, however gets to go to Washington D.C. with dad, so I think that will be pretty epic. The younger two will have to settle for me. 😉

  3. Our Spring Break was last week. We did The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. My kids all agreed that it was way better than going to someplace epic!. Not really, but they didn\’t complain too much, and their rooms look A LOT better.

  4. I have so many options for whiny bored kids, that they rarely ever whine to me anymore. At least not about being bored.

    I\’m trying to read a bazillion books. I need more hours in my day.

    And thank you. \”Does a one legged duck swim in a circle?\” is my new favorite answer for that kind of question. 😉

  5. That\’s the trouble with social media. Not only our kids, but we too, see fabulous lives played out with glamorous vacations. Our family didn\’t go anywhere exciting either this year and we survived. Although I have to admit, I felt jealous looking at everyone else\’s pictures of Florida, Mexico and California!

  6. That\’s the trouble with social media. Not only our kids, but we too, see fabulous lives played out with glamorous vacations. Our family didn\’t go anywhere exciting either this year and we survived. Although I have to admit, I felt jealous looking at everyone else\’s pictures of Florida, Mexico and California!