It’s Winter Break time at St. P’s. Otherwise known as the most annoying weekend of the winter. For some reason, our school has scheduled a five-day weekend anchored by President’s Day as long as we’ve had girls there. Just over a month after Christmas break ended, and with two short weeks in-between. Some years spring break has been less than a month down the road, too. It’s kind of maddening for us – well for S. and I; I’m pretty sure the girls like it – but I imagine it’s an even bigger pain for families that have to come up with childcare plans for their kids in the middle of winter.

The good news is this is our final winter break. We have a new principal this year, and about a month ago he released the revamped academic calendar for next year. He eliminated winter break, tightened up the parent-teacher conference schedule in October, got rid of the monthly, early-dismissal Fridays set aside for teacher “professional development,” and made a few other minor changes.

Being a good dad, I shared this news with the girls after school without giving them the payoff up-front.

“So, no winter break next year!”
“No early dismissal Fridays!”
“Parent-teacher conferences are just one day instead of two!”
“But guess what? You get out of school a week-and-a-half earlier than you ever have before!”
“WHAT?!?!? HOORAY!!!!!!”

Our girls have always complained that St. P’s gets out later than just about any other school. They’ve had to miss the first few days of swim team the last two summers because they’ve still been in school. But next year, baring a bunch of snow days, they’ll finish up on the Friday before Memorial Day. Which we all think is awesome.

Despite the long weekend, we’ve had a rather quiet break. L. had a birthday party to go to on Friday. Saturday S. continued her project of revamping each girl’s room, painting M’s room. Sunday we had volleyball and basketball games. We got enough snow that afternoon that the girls could play outside for a bit after their games. And yesterday we just ran some errands. We know lots of people at St. P’s who squeeze a trip into this weekend. But with two trips on our calendar already, we figured we would just relax at home.

We’re heading to Orange Beach, AL over spring break, which is late (for us) this year. We won’t leave until April 1 or 2. And we just scheduled a week-long trip to Boston for right after school ends in June. We’ll get to hang out with our family up there and explore the city, something we’ve never had a chance to do in our two trips there over the years. And hopefully I get to go to a Red Sox game.

Pitchers and catchers are about to report. College basketball is entering crunch time for conference races. There is a little more light each evening. By Friday we’re supposed to be over 60, with two days in the 50s right behind it. Winter’s not done with us, but all the signs are there that its days are numbered.