19 March 2008

Spring Break?

OK. For those of you who have been housewives and mothers for more years than I, you might look at me and say, "You poor, young thing! You have so much to learn." Well, first, I thank you for calling me young. I enjoy that adjective more and more each year.

Anyway, this is what I'm getting at. Today is Wednesday. The middle of the week, some would say. But this is no ordinary week. This is what has come to be known as "Spring Break." In our area of the country, it is the week before Easter, almost without exception. We not only have this week off, but the Monday after Easter as well. That's ten whole days. Since my husband is a teacher and is also off this week (except for a few meetings and things), we were looking forward to Spring Break do do all sorts of things. By things, I mean projects, as well as fun activities with the kids. So we made lists of things to do at home, and things to do away from home, for variety. Since we haven't gone hiking in a long time, we decided to plan to do that on Thursday, as a motivation and reward for accomplishing other tasks earlier in the week. So here's a rough idea of what we had planned:

Saturday--make brownies, bake bread, make pizza
Sunday--church in the morning, naps, soccer in the afternoon, start 1,000 piece puzzle
Monday--begin process of "Dirty Laundry Liberation Week" (cleaning and purging clothes),
sand/primer bathroom, strip doors of paint, study Greek (Enoch, in the p.m.)
Tuesday--take kids to visit widows and old friends while Enoch had meetings at school
Wednesday--work on painting projects (bathroom, boys' room, painting trimwork)
Thursday--go hiking (probably canceled due to thunder storms expected)
Friday--continue to work on/complete projects
Saturday--who knows, make pizza
Sunday--Easter, celebrate somehow
Monday-- (dot, dot, dot)

It was all going pretty well as planned. Enoch and I foolishly stayed up too late on Sunday working on the puzzle, and then again on Monday night visiting with his fellow Greek study partner until after 10 pm. In case you were wondering, 10pm is late. I like to be in bed by 9pm or 9:30 at the latest.

Now my clouded memory is fuzzy, but one of those nights, either Sunday or Monday, both Tristan and Rosalind woke at least 2 times each with their own separate "issues." I remember being up between 1am and 2am, again at 3am, and again at 4am, alternating between the kids. I think I made Enoch get up with Rosalind the third time, because I finally insisted that it was his turn. Then a little before 5:30, Rosalind woke a fourth time, and I was ready to give up and just start my day, because I was just not expecting her or myself to get back to sleep.

So by Tuesday, I was ready to have a day away from home! Unfortunately, the one opportunity to visit a friend's mother in a nursing home had to be canceled that morning, and I was unable to get hold of the other person we were going to visit. There was a moment before we left to take Enoch to school for his meeting when I thought I was going to have to stay home and just keep on working on the house with these rambunctious kids. As sleep-deprived as I was, I just didn't think I was going to survive. So even though we had no where to go and no one to actually visit, we all got in the car and went. But it was this day, this experience, that made me look at "Spring Break" with a whole new set of (slightly bloodshot) eyes.

You see, up to this point, Spring Break has always had connotations of vacation, fun, relaxation, and perhaps a bit of hard work for good measure to keep us from going insane. As a child, we would occasionally actually go on a vacation during Spring Break. As a college student, I went on mission trips where we traveled, but worked, and had fun by default. "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things." (I Chorinthians 13:11)

So what my new (more "manly") eyes have revealed to me is that Spring Break, as a grown-up, is actually more work than an average span of 10 days in the life of Merrilee Stevenson. I still have to get up at the crack of dawn to start my day off on the right foot (a.k.a. shower, drink coffee, and read my Bible.) I still have to do laundry and dishes and plan meals and discipline children and pay bills, along with anything else that I plan to do, whether work projects or play projects. Now, thankfully, my husband is around a great deal this week, and he is sharing the load with me. But I'm also learning to ask God not only for the strength of will to do what I need to do, but also for the physical energy to do it for His glory.

And, I'm also thinking that the I need a vacation, because "Summer Break" will be here next, and it's much longer than ten days. Not to mention that I plan to give birth sometime in early August. (Subliminal message: pray for me!)

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