Spring Break 2005

So, you're thinking of celebrating spring break on South Padre Island . . . or maybe as a parent or grandparent you're wondering what happens every spring on this Island Paradise and are eyeing March with some trepidation. The answer is simple . . kids have fun! Well, most of them do some of the time and a few (seemingly) do all of the time, but not all, all of the time. Understanding fun is essential in this rite of passage.

First the kids: Most, simply want the opportunity to hang out with old friends and make new friends. Everything else, including drinking, is secondary. I'm still trying to understand 'hanging out.' I think it involves a break from family, trying out new ideas, testing physical limitations and making mistakes.

Next the parents: They want safety. They also want to believe that the lessons they taught (and lived) will start paying off. Age counts for something, but not everything. They, too, question 'hanging out,' but I have noted that winter Texans do a fair amount of that themselves, so I guess it can't be all bad. They fear peer pressure, and hope (and pray) for the best, while looking over their shoulder to see how their peers live.

And the host community: They want the same as kids and their parents, plus they would like them to spend a lot of money. Parents might not agree that that is fun, although they also seem to enjoy shopping.

There have been tragedies associated with spring break. Some leave with broken hearts, some with guilt and others with a huge hangover and broken wallets . . . all are learning experiences. Some learn from their mistakes, others continue making the same mistakes all of their lives. All learn something, usually the stuff that is not taught in the classroom, or in the home, for that matter.

Grandparents still learn, as well. This year Dylan our eldest grandson, a high school senior, will travel with several friends, from MI to spend his spring break in the efficiency condo adjacent to our unit. He doesn't seem to mind (and his friends need this bit of assurance for their parents) so we will all 'hang' together . . . but in different worlds!

Hope for good weather . . . it makes everything more fun.