About Your Mid-Winter Break

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By Mary Fagan

Dearest Child of Mine:

Regardless of how off the mark you are when estimating my age, I didn’t have an educational experience that involved a one-room schoolhouse and writing on a slate. Laura Ingalls and I do not have that in common, although I did have to walk 5 miles to school in sub-zero weather and our cafeteria food resembled grayish green wallpaper paste served by older ladies with fishnets in their hair. I do remember looking forward to my vacations, as you do, and longing to have some “free” time. Now that we have that straight, let’s talk about this impending freedom.

You might have heard it said that “Freedom is a package deal – with it comes responsibilities and consequences.” Heaven forbid that you miss out on this important lesson about freedom, and what better time to begin to learn about that than your upcoming mid-minter break? Framed this way, I am pleased to let you know about your upcoming responsibilities and possible consequences freedom.

I really want you to have an enjoyable break. You are a good kid and adult responsibilities will come upon you fast enough in a few short years, so enjoy this time. That said, let’s do some freedom math.

Vacation is ten days. Each day has 24 hours. That is 240 hours – I did the math because I don’t want to stress your brain. All I ask is one hour spent eliminating the odors emanating from your bedroom from laundry gone bad, and keeping up with your personal hygiene. (I mean on a daily basis.) This would also mean you have to apply the acne medication we spent a fortune on directly onto your face, shower daily and don clean socks instead of the ones standing in the corner of their own volition.

I calculate this to take 15 minutes a day. Together, that adds up to 150 minutes, which is 3 hours out of 240. That represents 1.25% of your total vacation time. Again, I do the math for you to free up your time (and get an answer somewhere in the ball park since you got a 66 in Math on your last report card). I also expect you to spend another 1.25% of your time studying your blasted Math book because anyone who can memorize every football statistic and the past 20 years of Stanley Cup winners and the corresponding team coaches can certainly handle a little fraction or decimal. Get the point?

Adding 1.25% and 1.25% brings us to a grand total of 2.5% of your time, or a 6 measly hours of your vacation, earning your freedom. I don’t think this is too much to ask, and if you don’t to see me worked up into a lather, I suggest you exercise these responsibilities or you will experience the consequences. (You have experienced them before and it wasn’t liberating for either one of us.)

Yes, give me this and enjoy your break because when you grow up you will have many things that require many hours of your time like a job, a house, KIDS, the need to eat, just to name a few.

P.S. This is in addition to your regular chores of course. I don’t run a bloody hotel or restaurant – vacation or no vacation.