Golden Gate Bridge, 2009

Golden Gate Bridge, 2009

My kids’ spring break starts tomorrow.

And I can’t wait.

I need a break. A break from getting up at 5:30 am. A break from nagging about homework. And a break from all the shit that’s been going on in my head.

Three of my family of five are hopping on a plane to head out to California to see my brother, my sister and their three kids.

Just three of us. Me, my newly 16 year-old son and my 13 year-old daughter.

Not my husband. (My kids’ stepfather). And not my stepdaughter.

And I’m happy about that.

Because being a blended family doesn’t mean we have to do everything together.

We do spend a lot of time together.

Every summer, we travel to the beach in North Carolina to be with our extended family for a week. We have every other weekend together. And of course, my husband lives with my kids. And that’s a lot of togetherness.

We had talked about taking a big family trip. Maybe a cruise. But then my stepdaughter wanted to be with her mom the first half of the break. The two of them will be seeing one of her favorite bands in concert next week.

And my husband wanted to go out to Las Vegas for a long March Madness weekend with a few of his friends.

(I was okay with that. Well, except for the fact that he forgot his wedding ring. But he has green bands on his braces so I’m not too worried. Plus, I know he loves me. I should have put out the night before he left though. Just in case.)

When I asked my kids what they would do over break if they could do anything they wanted to, without a moment’s hesitation, both said visit their cousins. So, I checked the flights to San Francisco and booked three tickets.

Because I’m always excited to see my brother and sister. I know it means that I get to be immature and goofy. We’ll laugh a lot at things that may not be funny to anyone else and make fun of the rest of our family. (Sorry family. It is what we do. But we do it with love.)

For each of the five of us to be able to spend some time doing exactly what we want to do, even if it means spending time apart, is great.

Especially for me. I really cherish the time I get to spend alone with my kids. It doesn’t happen too often and it’s a different kind of time than if we were all together. I know my kids feel that way too.

Plus, there aren’t very many years left before my son goes to college. Three spring breaks and he’ll be gone.

So, California, here we come. We leave in the morning. And I still need to pack.

plaidcouchcrop

Me and my kids (1999)