I always have mixed emotions at the end of a long school holiday.
Sadness that my little BFF’s won’t be around. Those first few days back to school can be pretty lonely.
Relief that we survived with all of our major limbs and organs intact, and with no one actually being shipped off to military school. (Idle threats can be a parent’s best friend, no?) Also relief that I can enjoy 10 whole minutes without someone touching me, needing my help, or having an emergency while I’m on the toilet.
Anxiety about transitioning back to our school routine after weeks of sleeping in, staying up late, and basically having no schedule at all. And don’t even get me started on packing the lunchboxes. Ugh.
And I usually have a fair amount of self-doubt, too. Did we do enough? Did we have fun? Did we get out of the house enough? Did we spend enough time outdoors? Did we have too much screen time? Did we create good memories? Was I present enough?
I beat myself up. And you know kids (please tell me it’s not just mine) – they’ll complain endlessly about the ONE thing that we didn’t get around to doing, effectively diminishing all of the good stuff that we DID do.
But listen. This year I KNOW we had a fantastic, fun-filled winter break, and I refuse to let the self-doubt creep in and ruin it for me. Over the past couple of days, I’ve been making a list in my head of all the great stuff we did, and I’m going to write it down here as a reminder to myself that it was enough. We did enough. I am enough. Period. So here goes.
What I Did on My Winter Vacation
We had get-togethers/playdates with no fewer than 14 of the girls’ friends, several of them more than once. (This is their #1 request during weekends and holidays, so this is a big deal.)
We went to the beach at least 4 times.
We went roller skating.
We went ice skating.
We played with friends at 2 different parks.
We collected shark teeth and looked for sea glass.
We saw 2 movies (Star Wars and Alvin and the Chipmunks).
We baked gingerbread cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting.
We hosted a Christmas dinner for 21 people in our home. (Our friends are still talking about the food – my husband is a great cook.)
We went to St. Augustine with our 4-H group and handed out “blessing bags” to homeless people. We also visited a homeless shelter.
We made s’mores in a fire pit with our neighbors.
We went to a S’mores Party, complete with a hot chocolate bar and Christmas movies projected in the backyard.
We watched my 7 year old earn her yellow belt in Tang Soo Do. She also taught herself how to ride a bike without training wheels.
We ate our first authentic Cambodian meal.
We set off fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
We played Twister, Monopoly, Life, and Connect 4.
We practiced knitting, bracelet weaving, origami, and nail art. We also made oobleck (3 times), snowflakes out of glue, harmonicas out of popsicle sticks, and probably a dozen other DIY projects and crafts.
Pretty big list, right? Sure, we stayed close to home. We didn’t go camping or skiing or hiking in the mountains. But we had a really, really good time just being together. And sometimes that’s enough. Period.
Happy New Year, friends. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and I wish you love & joy in 2016.