I like to think of it as a fair trade-off, and I savored it fully all day yesterday.
True, for the first eight days of the school vacation week it seemed as if everyone we knew had left town and was either riding up a ski lift or sliding down a water slide while we stayed home and kept Carlisle from getting musty, but yesterday the tables were turned: everyone else was arriving home to empty refrigerators and piles of dirty laundry while the four of us were wrapping up a very peaceful and serene staycation.
And in fact, I didn’t really envy the travelers, except maybe just for the glory of getting to say they’d gone away for the week. But we had such an enjoyable time at home that I didn’t feel like we were missing out. I had some opportunities to go walking in the woods, and even got the kids to come with me a couple of times. Tim went up to Portland with my parents for an overnight. Both of the kids had sleepovers with friends. We went to a museum one day and a movie another day; other activities included Tim getting a haircut and Holly picking out some new clothes. The four of us curled up to watch a Shrek DVD one weekend afternoon. We baked cookies and made Rick a birthday cake.
Not that I ever get all the way through my list, even during vacation. I had planned all week to find the bedside lamps and some framed family photos that are still in storage in the basement; that never happened. More importantly, I had promised myself that I would spend some time cleaning up Holly’s room, which truly does look like the proverbial cyclone hit it. That did happen, but it was literally in the final half-hour of the vacation, after Holly’s shower and before her 9:00 lights-out deadline last night.
It’s okay, though. School vacations are a limited commodity. Even this past week, I was talking to a friend about vacation week when I realized both her kids are now in college and the public school vacation schedule doesn’t mean anything to her anymore. I’ll be at that point myself before I know it. And chances are, when that time comes, Holly’s room will still look like a cyclone hit it; that’s a characteristic of hers that I’m not counting on seeing change. For now, I’m just relishing the memory of such a peaceful stay-at-home week. And unlike all my sunburned, ski-weary friends, I don’t even have any unpacking to do.