M’s first school spring break has come and gone. Though there are many reasons why I love having M in public school–as opposed to homeschooling, which an admirable number of my friends do–the experience of a break from school is one of them. I remember the joy I had looking forward to those breaks, the meaning it gave to sleeping in and having fun for a bit, and it’s twice that fun to see M enjoy the same experience. I promised him at the beginning that he could choose lots of things to do with his time off, and I was willing to go to great lengths to make them happen.
He wanted to go to lunch with Daddy. And that was it.
An entire week off, and there was only one small thing that he wanted to do. He didn’t want to see all the friends that came calling (“You have a whole week off? We should get together!”). He didn’t even want to get out with just K and I. Aside from the preplanned trip to Disneyland and lunch with dad, M wanted to stay at home and play all day long. One errand to Target brought on unbelievable protests. “You want to be out all day,” M cried, “when you said we could play at home!” After one small errand.
It was hard, pulling myself back. I looked at the week I had with him and wanted to cram as many of the things we didn’t get to do on a regular basis into it. I looked, I wanted. But bending down, looking though his eyes, I could see that what he doesn’t get on a regular basis is the quiet of a large space with only three people in it. His toys, his best friend, his original teacher (that’s me!).
I want to give them so much from the world, to share everything with them, that I sometimes forget that they are little and get quickly overfilled. There is nothing great about sharing all those things with them if they can’t enjoy them. On the flip side, there’s something fantastic about enjoying my children, as opposed to enjoying things with them. After all, those thing will always be there, if someday they are desired, but these guys… well, you know, though it never hurts to say it again. They’re only little once.