Guess what! It’s winter break!
You know, that week in the dead of February when for some dang reason kids don’t have to attend school. So their parents can skyjack them off to warmer climates. Bermuda! Jamaica! Florida! The Bahamas!
I feel sorry for these poor families (hardly “poor,” really…. Deluded?).
I mean, the toll it must take on the winter anatomy having to acclimate to balmy weather for just one week! Ever think how your kidneys and liver might feel about this? Your bones that suddenly are forced into a full-blown thaw?
Never mind the acclimation of actually having to sweat in February. But in preparation for this acclimation, moms have to dig out bathing suits and shorts, for goodness sake’s, from storage bins, only to have to restore them all – it’s not going to be actually summer, you know, when they return to their chilly houses.
And whatever tan they might acquire will be a waste of healthy skin cells, unless they’re so vein as to wear a tank tops when it’s sleeting out.
And what does one don on a plane to these steamy climates, where you taxi off a runway in 28 degrees to land in 85-plus? That tank top? Under a turtleneck? Under a fleece sweater? As if prone to hot flashes?
And what confusion it must stir in the winter soul to disembark that plane, to palm trees; obscenely large and flamboyant flowers in bloom; pineapples fresher off trees than off the 2-for-1 sale at Stop & Shop! Where you might actually sweat (even as you’ve already stripped down to that tank top) merely waiting for a taxi to whisk you off to your fountain-adorned resort. Atlantis! Where you can pool-hop all day long until your flip-flopped feet are blistered, and you pull back muscles inner-tubing down watery roller-coaster things.
This year, winter break is cut short because we lost too may days to blizzards and hurricanes, but still “poor” innocent children are being pulled from their classes, forced onto planes to these more clement regions,where nary a cloud would stain flawless blue skies. Only to be deluded into thinking winter is actually waning.
“Angela is going to the Bahamas,” Little Bro laments.
Little Bro is in the girls-are-gross stage, so why should he care.
And I remind him that he doesn’t like Bahama heat. Last summer, when we took the Bahama Disney cruise (a once in a life-time expedition that we’ll be paying off for the rest of our middle-age years if not lives), he actually wanted to get off the 104 degree Disney Island and retreat back to the air-conditioned ship. (Yes, there are those who would argue against a Disney cruise in July; but it’s a lot easier on the anatomy to adjust from 90 degrees to 100 degree plus than from below-freezing).
So perhaps my boys will be the only lucky ones left to show up in class the rest of this week – to play double solitaire with their teachers who don’t want to teach to otherwise empty desks.
What these “poor” families don’t realize is what they’re missing out on by staying put, in these frigid mid-winter climates, where the wind howls outside as I write: You can make a far less costly (and less anatomy if not mentally taxing) road trip to Gramma’s house to “tinker.”
Yes tinker! When my boys aren’t immersed in the digital world of Minecraft, they play like Steve Jobs in his garage, who took apart radios and televisions.
Except at Gramma’s it’s old remote controls:
And old toasters:
This is what you miss in balmy climates with fresh fruit, teal seas, and outrageous fauna. Getting to examine the anatomy of a toaster:
It would have been the anatomy of old phones Gramma had saved since the 80s if I hadn’t been dumb enough to sneak the box away, (along with every old box in the attic saved from every appliance she’d ever bought) to toss out.
And when you’re not tinkering or playing (i.e. big Bro blowing up Little Bro’s house so he cries) on Minecraft, you can watch the antics of your pup poodle tossing around a pair of Gramma’s underwear he’d dug out of the hamper.
A word of caution to you smarter souls who don’t escape to warmer climates, but don’t want your children spending every waking moment on computer games because all their friends are away somewhere warm: save not only all those old phones, but archaic radios and old cumbersome non-flat screened TVs. Because once you’ve taken apart the toasters and remote controls, you might still have too much time on your hands to feel guilty about wishing they were back in school.
I’m sorry we just threw out our old microwave.