The Rockwood Files: Gliding through Spring Break

By Gwrockwoodfiles2-205x300en Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

It’s the first day of Spring Break, and I did something this morning I haven’t done in more than a decade. I slept – until noon.

I don’t know if I should be proud or ashamed, but since I so rarely get that much time to sleep, I’m going with proud. The kids were awake, of course, watching cartoons and playing video games under paternal supervision while their mother did her best impersonation of an unconscious slug buried deep under the covers.

They woke me up a few times mid-morning to ask some question I’ve since forgotten, but I just mumbled “Ask your father,” and rolled over into oblivion again.

If we’d been at home today, there’s no way I could have slept so late. At home, my writing desk beckons and the washing machine is always asking for its next load. The phone rings, the doorbell dings, and the reminder alert on my iPhone chirps at me all day. If it was a normal weekday, I’d have already gotten the kids dressed, made breakfast, driven them to school and returned home to tackle the to-do list on my desk.

But we’re spending a few days of Spring Break at a cabin in the woods about 45 minutes from home. It’s our little getaway that’s not too far away, and I’ve decided it’s just disconnected enough from our daily routine that it gives me a serious case of the sleepies. As soon as we walk through the door, my brain switches over to “vacation mode” – where “hustle and bustle” is replaced with “hang out and just be.”

Life moves at a much slower pace around here, slow enough that even deer aren’t scared away when we come and go from the cabin. As our minivan eases down the road, they look up briefly from the plants they’re munching on, stare at us unimpressed through the windshield and then grudgingly move out of the way so we can pass.

The cabin is perched on a hilltop, giving it a beautiful view of the valley and lake below. Yesterday when we got here, I sat by the window for a while watching a huge hawk fly circles over the treetops. He made several passes around an area the size of a football field, and he barely flapped his massive wings at all. He just glided effortlessly – letting the wind take him higher, steered only by his own whims.

I pointed the hawk out to the kids. “Look how easy he makes it look,” I said. “He’s barely moving his wings at all. People have to work so hard to make airplanes with enough power to fly, but this bird makes it look like the easiest thing in the world.”

It was one of those moments that makes me realize how much smarter God is than the rest of us. His designs work so brilliantly. And it also made me thankful for things like Spring Break – when we have a chance to stop flapping our wings so hard and just glide serenely through time, admiring the view below us. Granted, sometimes the view is only of the back of our eyelids, but that, too, is a welcome relief from the busyness of everyday life.

When I finally emerged from my darkened bedroom cave, the kids bounced around energetically asking, “So what are we going to do today?” Their father peeked up from the book he was reading long enough to reply, “Whatever we want.”

Hurray for Spring Break. We’re going to enjoy the glide.

gwen rockwoodGwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Author Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography