If you are a parent living in the northeastern portion of the United States, then you are all too familiar with February vacation, or “vacation.” I put that word in quotations because it is most certainly not a vacation from the perspective a parent. It is an unnecessary inconvenience that we begin dreading the second our children head back to school the first week of January.
The good news is that it seems in recent years, many school districts across the Northeast have been doing away with a full week off in the middle of the most miserable month of the year, opting instead for a long weekend over Presidents’ day.
So imagine my excitement when our school district sent out a survey to determine if enough parents wanted to do just that. I had spoken to many parents whose thoughts of this February vacation mirrored my own, so I was pretty confident that it would soon be a thing of the past.
But I was so, so wrong. I don’t see how I was wrong. But I was. Oddly enough, I haven’t once spoken to another parent who says, “I LOVE February vacation! A whole week of being stuck in the house with my wound up kids after having just had two weeks off for Christmas a month and a half ago?
“Wait, there’s more? If I don’t want to be stuck in house, I get to bundle myself and my children up to go to some sort of overpriced and overcrowded indoor trampoline or bounce house park where they are bound to catch some sort of virus? All that, plus Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, sick days, and snow days?? Count me in!” That slew of words has never before been spoken in that order by anyone, ever.
Yet here we are. We have barely settled back into a nice routine after the late nights and sugar-highs of Christmas break. In the past seven week days, my kids have missed a combined number of five of them due to snow and stomach bugs. Next week is February vacation and I don’t know if I’m going make it.
So, I have a great idea. If sending surveys out to the parents doesn’t work in doing away with this nonsense, perhaps they should put it to the kids. Here’s how I would ask them:
“Hey kids! Do you want to have five days off in the middle of February when it’s probably going to be too cold, slushy, and gross outside to go sledding or do any sort of outdoor activity, and your Mom will be in a really bad mood and yelling at you the whole week because you’re bouncing off the walls?
“OR do you want to have those days off in June when it’s beautiful and sunny and the days are longer and you can run around outside all day long? And not only will you get those days off, but you’ll ALSO get all the days after that off until school starts in September! Doesn’t that sound fun?!”
Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure if it was worded that way, most kids would be inclined to agree. But until that happens, I’ll just be here, crying silent tears into my hot cocoa.