On our daughter’s last night at home before returning to school, she stumbled upon a new meaning for “down time.” Horrible puns notwithstanding, her close encounter with ducklings is a fitting metaphor for her spring break. She spent her time in low-key pursuits such as getting a haircut, lying in the hammock in the back yard and goofing around with hometown friends who, like her, opted out of the seemingly obligatory ski trip or beach vacation.
We had a great Friday evening together. Her brother stopped by and hung around long enough to have dinner. The four of us sat around for several hours on the patio, just talking. As the sun set, my wife busied herself rounding up something for everyone to eat while the rest of us kept our heads down. We were all playing the Scrabble knock-off “Words With Friends” on our phones.
Lest you think technology divides us, let it be known that it was a hotly contested WWF game that brought us together. One of our son’s female friends claims to be unbeaten. Make that “claimed.” My son and another of his friends placed a bet on the outcome of a game between her and me. The game spread out over several days, and while it was nip and tuck until the end; I eked out a narrow victory. The bet was a six pack, and since I drove the victory train I demanded that it be shared with me. My son brought over the spoils of triumph and wound up hanging around until well after dark. That certainly pleased us, having the family together even for just one night.
Distance seems to be helping the kids’ relationship. Whenever they’re together they’re usually in catch up mode. As parents, it’s a joy to hear them tell one another stories; especially when they make each other laugh.
Our daughter is missing her college friends now, so she is ready to get back to Texas. Back at TCU, things are sure to be lively as the students prepare for the spring semester’s final weeks. I know she will welcome the activity and the company. After all, a little down time goes a long way.