my three semi-grown daughters were young (and since I work in the
lucrative world of public education), we'd spend our Spring Break
holidays riding bikes to the park, making dad-sized pillow forts in
the living room, and raiding the gift shop at the zoo. Now that two
of the girls are in college and one is in high school, those days
(and our gift-shop cash) are long gone.
This year, I spent most of my Spring Break competing with my youngest
daughter to see who could sleep in the latest without developing bed
sores. She usually won (barely), mostly because of the shame I would
feel if I still had bed head when my wife came home from work.
My middle daughter also spent a good amount of her Spring Break in
bed, only instead of just sleeping, she allowed the Chinese government
to spy on her college laundry pile while she binged on TikTok videos
to procrastinate from reading "an entire book" for her cruel and unusual
college history class.
I only saw my eldest and most expensive daughter in passing as she
spent her Spring Break going out to have her eyebrows waxed or to
purchase "healthy" groceries that are missing the ingredients that
make food ediblesince, apparently, everything in our pantry
If I wasn't in REM sleep dreaming of the good old days when my kids
still spoke to me without mentioning a credit card, I was nursing
my lower back, which currently feels like it's identifying as a tackling
dummy for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line. My doctor has encouraged
me to relieve my pre-geriatric lumbar aches by performing several
stretches that require me to get on the floor and contort my body
into positions that frighten our pets.
These so-called therapeutic stretches have embarrassing names like
the "child's pose," the "cat-cow" and the "pelvic tilt." I'm starting
to think that having me do these stretches is just a ruse by the doctor
to provide entertainment for my familyand to keep me from being
able to get up off of the carpet and go bother him again.
But don't get me wrong. I did have some fun and adventure on my break.
Along with making several trips to Walmart for more toxic foodstuffs,
I spent some quality "me" time inhaling microscopic fibers while vacuuming
the masses of delinquent lint partying behind our dryer.
I also had the rare opportunity to re-install a toilet-paper holder
that an overly-exuberant (and unnamed) potty patron managed to rip
out of the sheetrock in my daughters' bathroom. (While I was on the
floor, I did a few pelvic tilts.)
Seriously, though, I know there is no sense in whining about the travails
of the present or longing for the Spring Breaks of old. Instead, I'm
determined to savor the time I can still spend with my daughterseven
if it mostly involves picking up their dirty laundry, asking them
how much it would cost to have my eyebrows waxed or telling them I
love them as they walk out the door.