The Ever Expanding Holiday Break

This is the second week back to school for my kids since the holiday break, but much of the world around us had a three week vacation, which means that finally this week, all schools will be back in session. The three week holiday break is something new for our local public schools, and I’m glad we weren’t apart of it. I loved our relaxing break, but by the third week, the break would have broken me. Two weeks was plenty time to enjoy the holiday, go on some fun excursions, and sleep late, but that last weekend, things were getting testy. Siblings were squabbling, kids were reporting that they were bored and needed to watch TV, and I was finished with all of it.

While we returned to the grind, our neighbors were still in their comfy pjs with another week to go. I don’t know if this was due to budget cuts, or trying to align with a change in the finals schedule for the local high schools (which return to school on Wednesday), but it made our life easier. I always forget how many more people are on the road during the school year. Today it felt like a battle to get down our hill as people rushed to work or were returning home from school drop off (the public schools also start earlier in the morning than my kids’ school), other drivers were less friendly, and everyone was focuses on getting themselves where they needed to be asap. No surprise, I got stuck in traffic behind two different accidents this morning.

I missed the lighter traffic from last week, which we will get to experience again in June as our school gets out later than the others around us. I didn’t realize what an impact the more relaxed morning drive had on my day. Today was stressful and maybe, possibly included a swear word or two said allowed, while last week, things moved consistently enough that the drive was no big deal.

I’m thankful the three week break didn’t begin until my son was out of preschool because our old preschool follows the public school calender, which would have meant a three week vacation from preschool too (without an adjustment in tuition, I am certain). There is only so much Wow, Wow Wubbzy I can take without losing my sanity. A friend with a kindergartner was concerned that the young kids had just acclimated to elementary school life, only to have a long break that would likely produce a regression, not so much academic, but in the adjustment to the time and attention demands.

Three weeks is a lot of time to kill without wanting to kill each other.  Plus, it sounds expensive. Despite the lack of snow, people went to Tahoe anyway or they flew far away to visit family, which I would have done too. I’m glad we didn’t have a three week break, but when I consider the traffic, I am happy that there was a staggered return to school. Now if everyone can remember to yield, use their turn signals, and remember common decency on the road, we’ll be all set.

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