As I write this column during winter break, my family is about to embark on our annual pilgrimage to South Florida. We can’t wait for the airplane to depart from Westchester County Airport. We need sunshine, long afternoons by the pool and the gentle breeze of the palm trees.
There is some predictability about these trips. We will use the hotel’s waffle maker for breakfast. One of us will inevitably get sunburnt. I can pretty much guarantee what restaurants we will eat at with the grandparents. My kids not true gourmands yet, relish a dinner at Cheesecake Factory in Delray Beach.
And I will delight in knowing that I don’t have to load and unload the dishwasher. I won’t have to nag my kids to put on their shoes so they can make the bus. I don’t have to concoct a dinner in 20 minutes because everyone is starving and I can abandon my after-school chauffeur duties. In short, I will breathe.
After reading Connie Whitehouse’s essay about high school students exploring gap year options, I completely get it and secretly wish that we were traveling to South Africa instead of South Florida. Although I never went on a gap year or studied abroad, I did live in the UK for two years in my young adulthood with my husband and we can both unequivocally say it was a formative experience. Pushing me out of my comfort zone truly broadened my horizons and changed my perspective on so many things.
With the rigor of high school in a highly competitive yet award-winning school district, I fully understand one parent who commented “I just want my daughter to take a year to breathe and just be.”
As I was discussing the piece with the writer, I said to her “Wow, I wish they had gap year options when I was a high school student.” She said that she overheard many of the parents in attendance at the fair saying they wish they too had gone on a gap year.
So with spring approaching and warmer weather coming, I hope you will get a chance to step outside your comfort zone and
Here’s to a sweet and beautiful spring for all of you.
P.S. I am so proud of our publisher Grace Bennett celebrating a 16th year of publishing Inside Armonk and Inside Chappaqua Magazines. I am also embracing our new slogan: Sharing the Heart of your Community. In more news, the Inside Press also launched its latest hyperlocal magazine this month, Inside Pleasantville.