Posts Tagged ‘summer break’

Horrible horrible freedom

May 30, 2014

I am done with school.  My kids are done as well.  Our summer has begun.  Oh, sure, we have some summer reading to do (and I do mean me… don’t get me started on summer reading.  I have a lot to say about anyone TELLING me what to read. I can’t even join a book club because I WILL get kicked out), and there are appointments and wee- long camps and other obligations…

But we are in summer mode!  We don’t have to get up early!  We can stay up until… gulp… ten o’clock!  OMG it is anarchy.

Now I can do all those things I’ve been meaning to do, and I will do them, but it will be at my leisure.  Leisure is the key word, isn’t it?

Nope.  Boredom is the key word.  So today was the first day with actually nothing to do except a late-day ortho appointment, and what do I hear from my Two-Days-Short-Of-Being 10 year old?  “I’m bored.”

Now, this is not a surprise.  I know my son and he is prone to boredom.  My daughter is like me.  She can amuse herself with nothing but a pen and a scrap of paper, or a salt and pepper shaker, or nothing at all except a window to gaze out of… But my son must be DOING.  He needs to be ACTIVE.  I know, you’re asking yourself how I, the least active person around, gave birth to an athlete.  Go figure.

But I have adopted a new mantra to use against my son: “Then do something about it.”

He hates this.

However, there are some positive sides to my new mantra.  I WILL drive him to a friend’s.  I WILL allow a friend to come over.  But I will NOT be responsible for his boredom.  Giving in to that will make my son a tyrant, and that would be bad parenting. Because don’t get me wrong, he could become a tyrant in a SNAP. Most kids could.  Heck, most adults could.

So what was I saying?  Oh yes.  Now we are free.  Free to be bored.  My dad told me a story of when he was in the navy during the Vietnam war.  He was on an aircraft carrier, and when he and his fellow officers would get leave, there was one fellow who would not go ashore, would not engage with his friends, would not drink or party or carouse.  He sat in his bunk and stared at walls.  When asked why he did that, he told my dad that HIS leave lasted twice as long as everyone else’s because for him, time did NOT fly.  Boredom made time crawl… Hm.  Perhaps so.  I do not plan on testing that hypothesis.  Not while there is a window to daydream before, or neglected chores to accomplish.  My son can test it if he wants to.  But I will not participate in the whiny portion of the experiment.

Happy summer everyone!