March has become my favorite month of the school year. Why? It is a month of excellent transition. Not only from Winter to Spring, but from the second trimester to the third. It is a clear turning point in the school year. When March begins Winter engulfs Boston, yet by the last week of the month, Spring's arrival is upon us and the tempo of life shifts in the city as Bostonians come out of their hibernation. School becomes exciting as Seniors look forward to their graduation and as underclassmen are convinced that summer vacation is just around the corner. Sandwiched right smack in the middle of the month is our two week Spring Break. It is a decadent, luxurious time that I look forward to every year. It gets me through the dark, cold winter of Beantown and rejuvenates my outlook on the end of the school year. Its timing could not be better. This year, I went to visit my family in Southern California. After getting 12 inches of snow dumped on us, I packed my suitcase with summery items and boarded a plane for So Cal.
The flight was an easy 5 hours or so and I upgraded to a "select" seat which meant that I sat directly behind the first class cabin and soaked up the free food, drinks, and wifi all the way there. Of course, a first class upgrade would have been ideal on such a long haul, but I was content especially when it landed me in a row all to myself.
The best part of the visit though wasn't the location (although So Cal is beautiful), but rather seeing my niece, nephew, brother and sister-in-law for a full week was the real treat. I wish in 2013 we had the ability to teleport so that I could visit them more often. By the time everyone has let their hair down and gotten reacquainted and playful with one another it feels as though the trip was a blink of an eye. I really miss the opportunity to live closer to family and I take for granted that we do live in a modern world, despite our lack of teleporting, and we can visit one another from across the country with a fair amount of ease. Although even this is never enough!
It is amazing how fast a niece and a nephew grow. Most of my visit I am just awed that they even exist let alone that they are flourishing! I just want to cuddle and play with them all day long. And, of course, I secretly, and not so secretly, want to steal them away with me to Boston.
Each time I visit, I am inspired by the loving, empathetic parenting I see my brother and sister-in-law committed to. They set their limits and enforce them but within those limits there is much freedom and constant love. It is clear that my niece and nephew are developing into confident youngsters as a result of the support, love, and independence that frames their daily lives. David and I can only hope to model this when our time to grow our family arrives.
This trip was full of exciting moments coupled with endless quiet times in the home when we got to "just be together." My niece turned two, we went to Disneyland, I had the opportunity to visit my niece's school and tumbling class, we explored the culinary world of So Cal, we shopped, we went on afternoon adventures, and we just existed together and appreciated the closeness of family. I wish so much that David could have joined in on all of the fun, but someone had to stay home to work and take care of the pups. We definitely have to get him out there for a visit next time. Nevertheless, the trip was heartwarming and was truly the best place I could have been for my Spring Break. Planning my next visit out to the littles will consume the last days before school begins agains...