5 Spring Break Reminders

When my eight-year-old son Jack and I went camping this past weekend, we enjoyed crisp mornings, yummy food, good hikes, warm fires, and great company.
But as we finished supper Saturday night, we felt the first raindrops.

Jack sidled up next to me with his eyes cast down like he often does when he wants to say something important.

“Daddy, right now I’m sad.”
“Jack, God is in charge of the good weather and the bad. So we can find reasons to be thankful even in rain storms. Let’s pack up our stuff and head to the tent early so we can tell stories while we listen to the rain.”

Before long we were in our sleeping bags, and we swapped stories about school–Jack wanted to tell me how he raced his entire class and came in second place. I told him about the time I got a paddling from my second grade teacher “back in the day” when teachers could still spank children.

When I opened my eyes at 1 AM, I had that wide awake feeling that comes when you know something needs to be done. The rain was still pouring, and I sat up and grabbed my flashlight. When I flicked it on, I could see half of our tent floor was covered in water. Thankfully, we were on an inflatable mattress, so Jack was asleep and blissfully unaware.

I slid into my clothes and boots and began to pack up our wet things. I picked up Jack, his sleeping bag and pillow, and deposited him in the van.

An hour later, with wet tent stuffed in the back, we set out for the three hour drive home.

As we wound our way around the switch backs coming up from the valley where we had been, Jack was awake again. I drove slowly through the pouring rain, and we swapped more stories about the hikes we enjoyed, the good food, and the disappointment in leaving early. And we began to make plans for our next camping trip.

Through it all, I couldn’t help but smile. As Jack chattered away, and the rolling hills of the Arkansas Ozarks slid behind me, I reminded myself that these are the moments that make life so rich.

It is not always the blissful, peaceful times where we find our greatest joys. Nor is it in the adrenalin-rushes of great victories.

Sometimes it is in the rainstorms, the flooded tents, and the cancelled plans where we can find moments of deep satisfaction.

I don’t want to give the impression that I always respond positively to difficult moments. I don’t. But is it important to keep the difficult moments in perspective.

As you may be enjoying some well-deserved time off during Spring Break, don’t forget to take time to be thankful even if your plans get rained out.

And when you return to your long list of to-do’s, don’t forget to take a breath during the tough times and look for moments of redemption.

This morning I ask Jack to help me come up with 5 suggestions on ways to enjoy your break.

Here are the take-aways we landed on:

1. Spend time with people you love.
2. Even when things don’t go as planned, choose to enjoy the journey.
3. Eat good food.
4. Laugh a lot.
5. Sleep in. You deserve it.

Now It’s Your Turn:
Do you have a story of a break that didn’t go as planned? What are some ways you plan to enjoy your break? How do you keep perspective during tough times?

Subscribe For Free EBook
Want to read more insights on school leadership? Subscribe to receive my weekly posts from WilliamDParker.com? Visit here for information on how you can sign up and receive a free resource for students, my e-book, Making High School Work For You!

Think someone else would benefit from this episode?
William D. Parker
William D. Parker