I didn't know whether I should have put an exclamation point in the title, or a sad smiley face. Winter Break 2014 is officially over. And I'm torn between wanting to run through the house with a smudge stick of burning sage to cleanse it of the foulness which has permeated every corner, cushion and crevice...or curling myself up even deeper into the couch and mourn the passing of the 14th Winter Break I've survived since becoming a mom. (and yes, I am keeping track. 14 down, only 3 to go. When you look at it that way, it's a little different, huh??) (Sorry, I'm out of Kleenex. There's toilet paper in the bathroom down the hall.)
This was the second Winter Break I've held a full time job and had to work while the kids were home from school. Since they're older, and in my mind very responsible, that's not a big deal. Besides, I leave at the ass-crack of dawn and work a split shift so by the time I got home around noon every day, they were basically just waking up. And kind of looking like this:
So it wasn't with any great sorrow that I hustled back to work. I love these babies dearly but for the love of God I'm not making breakfast at high noon. Pop Tarts are in the cupboards, my dears!
The first week went by in a heartbeat. How funky was it, to have Christmas fall on a Thursday?? I had both Christmas Eve and Day off, but had to go back on Friday. So I had a mini-weekend within the week. And had no clue what day it was at any given moment. Our Christmas celebration was lovely and simple, a little feast at my house on Eve, with just the kids and also Charlie's lovely girlfriend. They had their annual 6 hour visit with Big Daddy on Christmas Day and Winter Break went on with nary a hitch.
And then, the next week, I had my own little Winter Break. I was off New Year's Eve and Day, and used a vacation day for that annoying little Friday wedged in there. Which gave me 5 days off. The longest stretch of time off I've had since August. To say I was looking forward to it is like saying the Republican party is looking forward to being in control of the Senate. I worked until after 6 p.m. that Tuesday night, and eyed the clock with a creepy frequency until the magic moment arrived. Quitting time! I floated out to the parking lot, visions of sleep and Lifetime movies and no bra dancing in my head.
And that basically sums up my 5 day Winter Break. I slept in as much as I could, although I have been plagued with this weird thing of waking up at 2:30 or 3:00 a.m. and not being able to get back to sleep. Luckily I keep my phone by my bed so I can keep myself entertained by playing Words With Friends and my latest obsession, Trivia Crack (Geography category? Bite me.) It's been a long time since I didn't have to be anywhere at a certain time, and I took advantage of this small whiff of freedom.
By doing absolutely nothing.
At first I felt guilty about it. I told myself that there were things I should be doing, people I should be hanging out with, movies I should be seeing. But I didn't do any of that. What I did was put myself on modified couch-rest, which is kind of like bed-rest except you're not pregnant and you don't have to stay on your left side. Our couch in the living room is sinfully comfortable and if you claim the center corner early enough in the day, a nest rivaling Big Bird's can be made. Don't think the thought of drilling holes in the bottom of the couch so bathroom breaks could be avoided didn't cross my mind.
I had my contacts out, my hair up and my pajamas on for several days straight. I should divulge that my pajamas differ from my normal day wear only in the width of the legs on my pants. It's all Ninja Black, baby, and when I throw a scarf on and put my long down coat over everything, trips to the grocery store can be made and nobody is the wiser that there's nothing but some modal and a jog bra purchased before my eldest was born underneath it all. Aside from the slight musk of homelessness that emanated from my every pore, I didn't stand out one bit.
And here it is, the last night before Normal returns with a bang. I'm having some wine, which is pretty much taboo on Sunday nights for me, but part of my brain is still in Break mode and my liver is too. I'm going to regret it when my alarm goes off at 5:00 tomorrow morning, but for now all is good.
It may have felt like I did nothing, but in reality a whole lot happened. My kids and I spent hours together. Something rare and special, if you ask me. We laughed and reminisced and talked and laughed some more. I prepared a New Year's Eve crab leg dinner, and didn't ruin it. We shared meals and memories and space and just existed with each other.
It was pretty awesome.
So tomorrow morning, I'll put my contacts back in, make my hair look less crazy-librarian and put one of my bras back into commission. I'll pretend that there's not really an extra layer of me and that the reason my pants are tight is because I accidentally put them in the dryer and not because I made sweet sweet love to a container of artichoke dip. I'll make sure the boys are awake for the bus and I'll greet the kids at school with hugs and smiles and grace, knowing that this next week will be one of almost-tortuous transition for just about everyone.
And I'll be looking forward to our 15th Winter Break...11 1/2 months from now.