Congress gets recess, our kids get spring break — What about US?!

image If you’re a student or educator, you are probably getting excited about the approach of SPRING BREAK! Wee-HOO! For students of all ages it means a week of crazy fun with little or no responsibility, whether you’re a fifth-grader planning a Spongebob Squarepants marathon to Bikini Bottom, or a college student planning a bikini bottom marathon of a different kind. If you’re an educator, it means a student-free week away from grading papers with so much red ink your desk resembles a sacrificial altar. Seriously, are they learning NOTHING between Tweets in class?!?

Even Congress gets what is referred to as “recess.” Let’s be honest: If I performed as poorly at my job as they have, I would get what is referred to as “fired.”

That being said, for the rest of us, spring break holds about as much anticipation as trash day or a release date for “Frozen 2.”

This is particularly true for those of us with teenagers at home, many of whom will openly mock us each day by selfishly sleeping in. Then, in an added display of thoughtlessness, they will still be in their pajamas and deciding on breakfast when we come home for lunch! The audacity! Especially since they misspelled “audacity” on their last quiz!

No, the time has come to expand spring break to include EVERYONE so we can all enjoy a week of unfettered fun. And naturally, when I say “everyone,” I realize there are certain positions that are so important to our infrastructure they can’t shut down without causing the nation to crumble. So I’m sorry: cooks and bartenders, you’ll have to draw straws for President’s Day.

For the rest of us, however, a week of relaxation during the nicest time of year is going to be fantastic! No longer will Cancun, Panama City and South Padre Island be the exclusive destinations for drunken college students and creepy professors offering extra credit assignments. No way! From now on, they’ll have to share those warm beaches with parents inflating 8-foot plastic sea mammals for their young children or, in some cases, their horrified teenagers.

“We’re TOO OLD to ride a plastic Shamu!” they’ll protest.

But Dad will continue undeterred, blowing into an air nodule located in a highly questionable area of plastic whale anatomy. This will of course be embarrassing to his teens, who are already mortified by the fact that Dad wore his swim fins to the beach and sand-whipped 30 sunbathers en route to a relatively quiet spot near a keg draped with bikini tops. That’s when Mom and Dad will begin spreading suntan lotion on themselves as if creating a protective layer against the Ebola virus, slathering every crevice before putting on matching Panama Jack sun hats. They will then hand the lotion to their sobbing teens, assuming they haven’t already run off to drown themselves in the surf.

What if your kids are already in college with spring break plans of their own? No problem! Surprise them at the beach! Chances are they used your credit card to secure their travel plans anyway; how hard can it be to get a room at the same hotel? Imagine the laughs you’ll share when they realize the person yelling at everyone to stop staring at his daughter in the bikini contest is DAD! Or the reason that group of girls keeps giggling every time you get near them is because Mom is showing pictures of you pointing to your very first armpit hair!

Yes, I think the need to implement a National Spring Break Week is something we can all agree is long overdue.

For those who don’t?

I have two words for you: Summer school.



(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

39 thoughts on “Congress gets recess, our kids get spring break — What about US?!”

  1. LOVE this, Ned…especially “with so much red ink your desk resembles a sacrificial altar.” For some reason, that line just jumps out at me. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time with my editor. “Let’s be honest: If I performed as poorly at my job as they have, I would get what is referred to as “fired.” This one is a close second. As always, brilliant!

  2. This post actually makes me wish my kids were still teenagers or college kids, so that I could join them on their break! I think I may still have some of those plastic sand toys in the basement, and I haven’t made a sand castle in a long, long time. Beach volleyball might be a bit difficult for me these days (assuming I could even find a tent to cut into a bikini), but I certainly would give it that old college try!

    Now that my girls are grown women, all they do is roll their eyes at my motherly suggestions. Dad, however, still manages to get an occasional “No way, Dad!” I envy him sometimes.

    1. I think you should just show up at your daughters’ homes with a volleyball net and bikini and start playing volleyball anyway. The we’ll see who gets the “No way!” 😉

      1. I so like the way you think! But I think I’ll wait until warmer weather. Seeing a fat old lady in a bikini is upsetting enough, but a fat old BLUE lady? I don’t think so.
        (with apologies for using “think” three times in a very short comment)

  3. Can we just lock our doors and stay confined to the couch for a week? Either way, the kids will just be staring down at their phones, only pausing to take selfies and instagram them.

  4. I’m not qualified to comment on this post. I’m on spring break. Italy for three months.

    We went to buy a car and ended up here instead. Just hope the car starts when we get back home or I’ll have to learn how to hitchhike all over again. But I’m trying not to think about that…

  5. I like visiting here Ned. You always make me laugh! I really really could use a vacation. I am afraid it has been so long I don’t know how to do it anymore.

      1. Sadly, I seem to have many reasons I cannot vacation. The dog. The cats, although they will be ok if we aren’t gone too long. Time off both jobs at the same time. Coordinating with the kids. This is gonna cost how much? Where are we going? Ok. the couch it is.

  6. Well said Ned. Being on disability, I find it hard to comment on vacation time. Now a nice trip to Italy would do wonders to warm my bones.

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