the gift of boredom

My favorite kind of day with my kids is not a well planned out home school day, it's not an elaborate art project day, not even a day at the park or pool. It's the kind of day where we turn off the screens and distractions and I leave my kids to their own devices to seek out some fun. If we've had too much screen time that day it can take thirty minutes to an hour of moping around complaining "there is nothing to do", "We're bored" (yes I know some moms have strict screen time schedules or just don't allow it at all, good for them but that's not me:). Most of the time within minutes they are building blanket forts, planning American Ninja Warrior obstacle courses, playing restaurant, pretending to be stranded on a desert Island with nothing but duct tape as a survival tool. You get the picture.
  Looking back at my own childhood I am realizing I slowly, gradually went from feeling like I missed out, to understanding what I did gain when we never had the option to go to Disneyland, Seaworld or on elaborate vacations. That we didn't own a television or have the latest and greatest toys to play with.  Of course there is nothing wrong with those things but to learn to be content without the extras is a tough thing to do when they are always there. I am thankful for my childhood. I am so thankful that my mom gave me the gift of a love of reading, a great imagination, and free time to just be a kid and play.
 One of my favorite childhood memories is a crisp cool fall morning, I was about five. I am outside playing by the creek in our front yard pretending to make a potion in a giant pickle jar. Adding plenty of green slime, Pebbles a perfect substitute for eye of newt ingredient I was lacking, crunching up dried leaves to serve as powdered pixie brain  (I'm sure I had just read a book about a witch and her potions). I am not sure why it stands out in my mind but I clearly remember the feeling of playing pretend. Totally, completely submersed in my imaginary world. With no embarrassment, no deadlines or bills looming, just pure make-believe play. Now as an adult I think I only get a bit of that feeling when I'm reading a good book and I miss it. So kiddos for now I'm gonna be the mean mom who tells you go outside and play and don't come in til dinner. No I'm not buying you a toy at every store we run into and sorry no more movies for the day. You'll thank me later.

No comments: