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My kids are off from school today. It’s a professional day in Barrington. Not to celebrate Leap Day. (It’s just a coincidence.) Did I mention they were also off for mid-winter break?

We had nine days at home.


In the winter.

Did I also mention it was in the middle of February?

And I work from home?

In Rhode Island?

During one of the coldest weeks in New England history.

Some towns had President’s Day off. We had nine consecutive days off.

In the middle of the winter.

Oh and we didn’t actually go away.

They just call it February vacation to make you feel better. mid-winter-break

In my mind, I envisioned my kids running on the beach in 85-degree weather. (While my husband and I indulged in treats with tiny umbrellas.)

But then we found out our kids had sports commitments that couldn’t be missed. And practices all week long.

“It’s all good, we’ll have a staycation,” I said out loud in a June Cleaver casserole-eating-grin as I lowered my head… and my expectations. And then proceeded to down a handful of chocolate chips.

I had to gulp back dreams of February vacation days gone by when the kids were little and sports commitments didn’t conflict with school breaks. So I pulled out the sleds, set up Sorry and begrudgingly clicked “LIKE” on Facebook posts from friends vacationing in Cancun (and God knows where else).

We had nine days ahead of us with practice schedules and “hang out” plans with friends.

Don’t get me wrong. It was relaxing. For the first couple of days.

Then, snap.81dd715ac569

I didn’t actually snap. I mean cold snap.

Not just any ordinary winter storm. But one of those holy schnikies-below-freezing-New-England-winter-storms-where-your-nose-(and left nipple)-nearly-falls-off-when-you-open-the-door”.

Our plans to host sledding parties were replaced with frozen pipes and plumbing issues. At one point, the temperature fell to 45 degrees. In our family room. Eventually, the heat came back on. The pipes thawed out. And life went back to normal. I brought a car load of teenagers to the ice skating rink, the mall, and Dave and Busters. We went out to eat, baked cookies, hosted some friends and family and my husband and I even managed to fit in a date night in Boston.

In retrospect, it wasn’t that bad. No, we didn’t go to Disney World or Paradise Island. We didn’t come back with sun or ski tans.

But we did get to spend some quality family time together. From the Game of Life to the Walking Dead and a lot of giggles in between, we had a great time.

Even in the middle of the winter.

For nine days.


But for the love of everything scholastic, I pray that the kids don’t have any holidays, snow days, professional days or any unexpected days off for a few weeks so I can get back to a routine.

I think we’re in the clear.

Shut the front door.

I forgot about Spring Break!