If you asked me if I was eager to have kids back in school during some moment when they were squabbling (the perfect word, by the way, for what they do sometimes) over the Wii remote or the last 1/2 ounce of holiday punch, I'd have said YES! without reservation. There are those moments, you know, when parenting seems like a lost cause-- an exercise in futility-- a hopeless, soul-sucking, life-draining, what-was-I-thinking-when-I-said-I-wanted-a-big-family challenge (do I sound a bit jaded?). Of late, when I am telling kids for the nine millionth time not to put their feet on the furniture or to turn off that darned light when you leave the room, you have thought that I wanted nothing more than to put them in boarding school and myself into a monastery (the kind for married folks, of course).
On the other hand (and isn't it good that we have two hands), when I dropped off the older boys at the jr. high (excuse me, the "middle" school), and when Cameron when out the door with a piece of cinnamon toast in one hand and his other hand outstretched in the sign for "I love you," I thought that the break was just too doggone short. We played some games, we rode grandma's four wheeler (and the attached sled) a bunch, we drank many gallons of holiday punch(*), we watched a bunch of fun movies, we stayed up late and talked; we just did all kinds of great family stuff that makes family stuff so great. In short, I was sad to have them go back to the routine. Like our youngest said when we were getting ready to leave grandma's house on New Year's Eve (and he said it with a sigh and a wistful look around grandma's living room), "Christmas is over."
So... Mom and Dad can hardly wait for kids to be home again. Hey... it's family night.
(*) Holiday Punch
1 can frozen OJ concentrate
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
10 cups water
3/4 C sugar (more or less, depending on how sweet you like things)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract (the "secret" ingredient that MAKES this)
1 2-liter bottle of Sprite (not 7UP, not Sierra Mist)
Mix in a large bowl or pot.
Makes about 5 to 5.5 liters. Save your 2-liter bottles from other stuff. Put in the freezer until slushy.
add a bit of blue food coloring to make a green "Grinch Punch"