A Spring Break letter to my Sons:

Dear Boys,

It blows my mind how many of your friends are on glamorous, luxury vacations this week. I apologize for not believing you, when you said, EVERYONE you knew was leaving town for Spring Break.

I really didn’t believe it was literally EVERYONE. But, it is…

I realized you weren’t exaggerating on Sunday, when we arrived late for Mass and the church was so empty that we still had our pick of the pews. I was completely convinced when there was zero wait time for a table at the restaurant afterwards. Later, last night, when I was casually skimming Facebook, I was inundated with even more evidence. There were hundreds of pictures of your friends hitting the slopes and the crystal white beaches of Mexico and the Caribbean. (I bet it’s hard to convince yourselves that your friends are laying around their houses, as bored as you are, when you are drowning in social media to the contrary).

So, you were right, apparently we do have the Great State of Oklahoma all to ourselves!

I know that you’re growing weary of hearing this, but, when Dad and I were growing up, things were way different. Of course, you know all about the ’70s because you have watched every episode of, “That ’70s Show,” but there’s a few things the show didn’t cover…

For starters, we didn’t have Spring Break in the ’70s. Spring Break, like many other questionable social ills, was born on the college campuses of this great country. Every year the media would cover thousands of college students flocking to the beaches of Fort Lauderdale and Daytona for Spring Break. But, grade schoolers and high schoolers stayed at their desks for the most part. We had a few days off around Easter, commonly referred to as Easter Vacation. We dyed eggs and spent hours hiding and finding them in our backyards for entertainment. This cost our parents less than $2.

But the most important thing we really wanted you to understand, when you innocently asked us last week,

“Where are we going for Spring Break?”

…is that, in the 70s, if we did have a day or more vacation from school, the last thing in the world we were going to do was advertise it to our parents!

Why – You ask? Because, our parents weren’t going to go skedaddle to a travel website to plan a luxury vacation for us. They were going to send us to fetch a pen and paper, so that they could make a list of things that needed to be done around the house. Our parents were delighted when we had days off from school so we could:
reorganize the attic
pull weeds
clean out the garage
and paint the house

I’m not going to go so far as to say, children were “a blessing” when we were growing up, (as in our grandparent’s generation when they genuinely needed more hands to work the fields) but, our parents were definitely not above using their children as Indentured Servants.

If my siblings and I thought we could pull it off, we would set our alarms on vacation days, get up early, get dressed and leave the house, hoping our parents would think we actually HAD school. Bottom line- We just weren’t as “in our parents faces” back then. We avoided them as much as possible. This is a concept that your generation isn’t familiar with; we called it, “making ourselves scarce”. It worked well for all concerned parties.

But, back to you- Please don’t think it didn’t make us feel super un-cool, remorseful and negligent when we saw your disappointed faces. We failed to plan and planned to fail, as they say. Nevertheless, it’s not too late to salvage your Spring Break! In an effort to make it up to you, we proudly announce:


That’s right guys, you are going on an all-expenses-paid Road Trip to visit, not one, but BOTH of your grandmothers!! Get your i-phones handy,  you’ll want to post tons of pictures, as we drive you all over our old “stomping grounds” reminiscing and pointing out places of interest, such as our high schools, Tiger Stadium, where we went to make-out and many other exciting locales. We will sing songs and share our favorite memories, as you sit captive and captivated in the back seat.

We were able to pull this entire trip together at the very last minute, largely because we didn’t need advance reservations and the ladies aren’t charging us a dime for lodging.

Start packing! And be grateful we don’t think you can distinguish between a flower and a weed and we don’t trust you anywhere near our house with a paintbrush!

The Mom Who Saved Spring Break

The last time we trusted James to paint the house...

The last time we trusted James to paint the house…