So, Spring Break 2016 was last week. We took the kids to Victoria, BC. The kids wanted to use their new passports. The parents wanted to travel somewhere the dollar was strong. Off to Victoria we went.

It was a great trip but what’s on my mind today isn’t the sights we saw or the tremendous weather we experienced. It’s traveling with kids that have their faces in a screen. It’s not as fun as it was when they were easier to distract.

Go ahead and tell me about how that’s entirely within my power and if I didn’t want them on screens, they wouldn’t be on screens. I won’t even argue with you. You’re right. I don’t even have to allow them to bring screens with them on the trip. I totally own that this is on me.

That doesn’t diminish my desire to complain though.

I tried to engage and “meet them where they are at” and talk about the YouTubers they watch and the games they are playing and watch over their shoulders. I’m not a moron; I keep an eye on what they are doing. None of it is inappropriate; I just don’t get what makes it so entertaining. That made me feel old, and that’s awful. And that’s pretty much all they wanted to do if we weren’t in a museum or at Miniature World.

My husband and I were getting pretty worked up about it. One afternoon we were exchanging some thoughts amongst ourselves and some of the phrases that came out of our mouths sounded suspiciously like things our parents had said to us when traveling with them at around the same ages.

Nothing shuts you down faster than hearing your parent’s words come out of your mouth.

So we took a pause. A ponder, if you will.

We went for a walk and left the kids in the hotel room with their beloved screens. Our afternoon included a lovely walk around downtown and the novelty of stopping in whatever shop we wanted, for however long we wanted, with no teen/tween making their opinions known on how bored/tired/hungry they were and could we please find a chair/restaurant/something interesting to them as soon as possible.

Back at the hotel we collected them for dinner and instead of a tense evening of veiled (and not so veiled) criticism of their viewing habits, we had a funny, light conversation, of course it was mostly about YouTube videos and video games but it was also about Canadian monetary policy and the First People exhibit at the Royal Museum. Let’s just say it was wide ranging. And it didn’t involve any mention of “back in my day” stories about spring break vacations because, seriously, I may as well just go with “get off my lawn” and be done with it.

The conversation had that space because, for once, we didn’t push our agenda and mandate what a “good” vacation looked like. We went with the flow and cultivated a little respect for the two young people we were traveling with and what they are interested in right now. Of course, it took a level of restraint I don’t always have access to to keep my parents from showing up out of my talking hole, but I did it.

And that, my friends, makes it a sweet Spring Break in my book.