June 24, 2011

in praise of boredom

Ahhh, boredom!  That delicious restlessness that comes upon a body and mind so fully rested as to absolutely demand fresh activity!!

(To this mother of four, such a sensation has been entirely novel for years).

A child who is privileged to experience boredom (and who has learned through experience that nothing interesting happens when she whines about it), is ushered into that most exciting and satisfying realm of childhood:  invention.

The world lies at her feet.  What shall she do?

Read a book?  Lie in the sunshine with a kitten?  Ride her bike?  Look for flowers?  Pick raspberries for extra spending money?  Rummage through the recycling bin for "building" materials?  Swing on a hammock?  Shoot baskets?  Draw with chalk wherever chalk will "stick"?

Or make something inside .... a Lego house, say, or a fort with sofa cushions?  Maybe write a letter, or sew something from her own personal stash of fabrics?  Bead a necklace?  Set up a tea party with her sister?

Or, hmmmm .... swing?  Do a little imaginary "cooking" with grasses, leaves, and dried flower bits in her recycling-bin pots and pans?  Explore the barn?  Lie in the cool shade and invent kinder worlds than this one?  Maybe make a "treehouse" in the Japanese maple tree, or fashion crosses from sticks tied with grass, or build a village of wigwams with whatever nature can supply.  Or make "gardens" in the dirt between the ancient roots of the pecan tree.

How could I ever deprive my children of the opportunity to create such intriguing play?  How could I ever come up with such interesting things on my own for them to do?  And even if I could, how dull it would seem to them to do "Mommy's play."

No, the TV will remain high up out of reach.  The videos will be limited to rainy days in such succession as to exhaust the supply of indoor play.  The computer?  It has not yet occurred to them to find it interesting (I can only accept blame for this, as I must appear pitiable to them as I sit slouched in front of it).

And the only ideas I will have when mine are requested will be for patios swept, little brother watched, beds made up, trash taken out, laundry folded, flowerbeds weeded, sinks scrubbed, rugs shaken out........

I think that will be sufficient to keep from being asked too often, don't you?

1 comment:

  1. I like how you think. I will store away this method to use when my boys discover the "b" word.

    ReplyDelete

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