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Enjoy spring break with your kids

With all the things going on in the world — wars, politics, business, etc. — spring break offers me a much-needed respite.

In fact, I think I look foward to spring break more now than when I was a student.

Why would an adult look forward to the week-long hiatus students get from school? 

For me, it’s an opportunity to spend time with my daughter. Time to be a family, time to recreate, time to travel and time to forget politics, business and other adult-related realities.

My 11-year-old daughter, Olivia, arrived for spring break Saturday. And after wasting a day in the airport due to flight delays, we’re back home doing what we do, competing with each other.

Seems like she is always challenging me, trying to one-up me, if you will. I enjoy the gamesmanship.

This year, the gamesmanship has been about what type of car we should buy. Should it be a sports car or an economy car? Should it be a mini-van or a truck? You know, she’ll need a car in about four years.

The conversation began simply enough with my truck needing a hard-to-find hybrid battery pack and replacement generator. That quickly led to a discussion on whether we should repair the vehicle or replace it.

Well, we’ve decided to repair it, knowing full well that several years down the road we’ll face the same issue on a high-mileage truck. But in addition to repairing it, I had decided to invest in a smaller car that gets good gas mileage.

Olivia immediately thought that meant picking out a car should she be driving in about four years. So, while I am busy looking for a car with good gas mileage, she is busy trying to find one she will “look good” driving when she’s old enough.

It’s funny watching her walk the local car lots looking for that “perfect” vehicle. For her, it’s about the color and whether or not it’ll match her clothes and sunglasses. That’s not how I view cars. For me, it’s about a quality vehicle with good gas mileage and a sporty body style.

Funny, I didn’t think I’d be having a discussion with my daughter about a car for a few more years. But it’s been fun viewing the car-search process from her position.

I’m sure we’ll find the right vehicle for us.

Aside from the search for a car, our spring break will be filled with many activities — family visits, seeing friends, Jet Skiing, shopping and just being daddy and daughter. They’re all activities that take me out of my get-the-job-done-first mentality.

I’m not too convinced about the shopping, though. My daughter’s sense of fashion can be questionable. That said, her choice of attire isn’t too bad when compared to some things I see other children her age wearing. I’m sure that’ll change as she ages. Maybe I’m a bit naive, yet, but I think that’ll be a battle I enjoy, too.

Regardless, spring break is a nice change from day-to-day issues. And dealing with the topics an 11-year-old believes are important is refreshing.

So while your children are out of school this week, I encourage you to take time to see life through their eyes. Take time to enjoy the simple things. Use this week to put adult realities into perspective.

What’s important in life is right in front of you, looking for guidance, interaction and friendly competition.

Roger Harnack is the editor and publisher of The Chronicle. He can be reached at 509-826-1110 or via email at rharnack@omakchronicle.com.

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