By Michelle Railey
Spring break is notable to me because that means teenagers will be in the sauna at the gym this coming week. Teenagers. In the sauna. Wrapped in Saran Wrap. They really do that. It smells like bacon when a Saran-wrapped teenager sits in the sauna. It really does. And not in a good way. And that, kids, is one of the very many reasons I’ll be glad when spring break ends.
The other reason is that I’m a grown-up and I don’t have a spring break.
It might be a good thing if grown-ass adults got spring breaks every year. Kids are young and resilient. Do they really need a spring break? Do they need it more than we, working grown-ups, buried beneath 40-plus hours a week, laundry, dishes, and bills?
No, universe. Of course not.
But life, I’ve heard, is unfair. And I, like many of my middle-aged, responsibility-bearing peers do not get a Spring Break. No Jell-O shots, no bikinis, no carefree sand and sun-soaked vacation. Just further daily drudging. (Insert here a teenage-worthy sigh. Impatience and exasperation is the fountain of youth: to stay young, just think of another damned load of laundry or dishes. Sigh. Stamp of foot. It’s almost like being fourteen. Except you can drive yourself. In fact, you have to. And that’s sigh-worthy, too.)
So, as Sunday night closes into another week of regular work while Facebook is awash in vacation photos and my gym is overrun with tanned and heavily-mascara-ed sixteen year-olds, cooking in the sauna, well, I envision running away my very own self.
My middle-aged spring break would involve no chores, no alarm clocks, no errands. No gas tanks to fill. No groceries to carry. No world-weary sighs because I am tired. Spring Break: me and somewhere warm. No schedule. Maybe some cocktails. Maybe just long walks and naps in the sun.
It’s nice to think about at any rate.
Kids already have all the fun. They don’t have to adult. They can just be and grow. And I can tell you, looking back, I did not fully appreciate the wonders and gifts of an entire week off in the spring to just exist.
Not at the time. But now? What I wouldn’t give to have that spring week back again. Youth is, after all, utterly wasted on the young.
I’m beginning to think all the good things are.