I remember some fine times from Spring Breaks of my past. During the school year, this holiday time always came at just the right moment – when everyone really needed a break from the pressures and routine of school/work, when stamina was wearing down from long days of answering constant questions topped off by Open House night during Texas Public Schools Week where you politically, politely answer more constant questions. I remember some relaxing spring trips to Fredericksburg and the Hill Country, to Port Aransas and Padre Island, to the St. Augustine area of Florida and an extended Spring Break trip to southern Spain when Travis was there on a study abroad semester. We took in wonderful sights, enjoyed company of lovely people, tasted some great local foods and spent some down time reading good books.
This year with retirement I thankfully did not feel the worn down need to get away from my regular life but I did spend a week away from home doing different things. Planning well in advance, Jonathan arranged to take Erica for a much needed beach getaway during her spring break. While they spent some time at a Cancun resort, Darrell and I lived at their house in Austin and filled our days with watching Keller. I really do mean that literally we enjoyed our week by just watching him – watching him greet the morning, watching him eat, watching him walk by holding on to walls, furniture and toys, watching what caught his attention on TV, watching him explore and look closely at things, watching him take things apart (he’s not yet at the stage of putting things back together), watching him express his feelings – elation, curiosity, determination, satisfaction, frustration.
We learned his eating/sleeping routine. We learned his likes (hugs, laps, pacifier, blueberries, broccoli and bananas) and his dislikes (getting his nose wiped, getting his face washed and waiting for a bottle). We learned to interpret some of his babbling: ach-O, mama, dada, de-dada, nana, hi, baa. We learned that Pinterest has good ideas for corraling a toddler in a tub. We learned that baby gates are a great invention. We learned that we do not know how to operate all modern baby technology. When the monitor beeped and ran out of battery charge on the first night, we did not find the right button to restart it until Erica came home and showed us so I listened the old fashioned way for baby noise in the night using my mother/grandmother ears. A few false alarms just gave me a chance to peek in on a peaceful, sleeping angel.J
Our days passed by lazily following the Keller schedule of eat, poop and play. We caught up on Jeopardy in back to back daily shows, caught up on all the broadcast details of the new pope, swung in the backyard hammock, watched families do yard work as we took different strolling routes, soothed to the cooing dove noise of their neighborhood and, like all good trips, we read good books during our down time.
Feeling rather bold, one day we ventured out to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, only a few miles from their house and just down the road from Erica’s school and Keller’s day care. Proudly we were successful in loading a car seat and then a stroller and the possibly necessary take along items for this outing in the beautiful outdoors. Darrell and I found some promising native plants to try in our tiny backyard inspired from the display gardens at the center and were happy to see our first bluebonnets blooming for this year. Be on the lookout, wildflowers are starting to show along the roadways, too!
This was the best Spring Break ever! Gratitude for being given precious time in the life of a precious child fills my heart.
Psalm 127:3 Behold children are a gift of the Lord.
Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”