Let me start off by saying, this will be our third summer break from school. Next week our oldest is finishing first grade and our middle is finishing kindergarten.
And at the end of each year, I cannot wait for school to be out.
I want my kids back. I want to play. I want to fly by the seat of our pants without pick ups and drop offs and waiting at the bus stop and PSR and girl scouts and dance and gymnastics and soccer and, and, and… don’t get me wrong, all of those things are wonderful! But, it’s always good to have a break from the hustle and bustle that is the school year. And lets be honest… kids, parents, and teachers always welcome summer break with great big open arms!
I want to have no idea what the day brings, but know it’s with my kids. I’m itching for them to be done as much as they are.
And then, every year, I get a hard smack in the face with, “I’m boooooooooooooored” and “Thisssss isss sooooo boooooring.”
I somehow forget the transition period from crazy busy to “laid back”. I put “laid back” in quotations because, well, if you are in the stage of your bigs or littles living under your roof… the definition of laid back is slightly different. You’re catching my drift, right?
So, let me explain.
This past weekend we went to our lake house where we plan to spend most of our summer. No internet. No cable. No Kindles or Netflix. We have DVDs, board games, the radio and our imaginations. The lake is my happy place. Where my denim shirts, cut off jeans, and small town lovin’ country girl side comes out.
My husband and I had planned a work weekend to clean the house, inside and out. We wanted to get everything done so we can enjoy the rest of summer.
That’s when the whining started. Our littles had been complaining back home about how busy and exhausted they’ve been. And now they had an entire weekend free, they’re complaining there’s nothing to do.
They were bored and we were the worst parent’s ever.
These charades lasted for a good 24 hours with a near breakdown from me until my husband sat the kids down and made one last ditch effort to explain… again… that we weren’t entertaining them. We weren’t going to the beach or the park or fishing… no matter how many times they asked. We were getting the house baby proofed and put together so we can do those things the rest of the summer.
So… they could just sit there, feel sorry for themselves and be miserable, or…
“Go find something to do.”
And what do you know… I was in the kitchen cleaning when the girls walked in with a handful of wildflowers, “Momma, look what we picked for you!” So, I gave them a vase and they proudly arranged the flowers just so. It was perfect.
The rest of the afternoon I saw tricycles way too small for them being ridden, soccer balls being kicked around the house, trees being climbed, sticks becoming swords, tag being played, wild flowers being picked, country music from the boom box being danced to, songs being sung and books being read.
Oh, and my broom stick became a pole vault.
We heard giggles and belly laughs.
We saw sweet summertime smiles and freedom.
Momma, boredom is a blessing. This summer, lets welcome the complaining and the whining and the sitting outside our bedroom doors waiting to complain some more… because what comes out of boredom, is magical.
The more they’re bored, the less time they spend complaining and the quicker they flip on their imagination switch and find something fun to do or create or play.
As mommas, a lot of the time we feel the need to create this magical childhood filled with Pinterest perfect crafts, penciled in play dates, daily activities, and a summertime bucket list to check off. And please don’t take my heart the wrong way, all of those things are amazing and important and fun! We have our own list of things to do and fun to be had this summer. But, let there be days that we give ourselves permission to put down the calendar and the lists and be bored!
Take a minute and think back to your childhood. Can you think of moments that were magical? Your favorite memories?
I remember my mom would make my lunch on one of those Pampered Chef lunch trays and I would sit out on our front stoop and each lunch. I remember reading every Goosebumps book I could get my hands on. I remember checking out “How to Draw” books at the library and building myself a portfolio of drawings. I remember making bracelets and ankle bracelets and necklaces out of string. I remember roller blading in my cousins basement while listening to RuPaul or choreographing dance routines to perform for anyone who would watch or creating movies with our parents over-the-shoulder video cameras. I remember dressing up as strange as we could and walking to the golf course to embarrass our dads. I remember when my husband and I started dating in high school and we would go to his parents lake house in the summer where there was nothing but an original Nintendo and a DVD player as entertainment. We would ride the golf cart around the lake for hours. We would swim. We would talk. We would play games.
So listen up my littles. We will have days full of scheduled play dates and zoo trips and birthday parties and Pinterest crafts. There will be days we feel like we are busy from the moment the sun peeks into your bedroom window until the moment your beautiful sun-kissed hair hits your pillows. There will be spontaneous days where we live in the moment and welcome whatever the day brings. There will be days we will fly by the seat of our pants. Days of waking up without a plan. And there will be days that boredom will lead your little imaginations to run wild and free. You only have 18 summers at home from the day you were placed in my arms until the day you’re an adult. Which means, for our family, we only have 11 more summers that we’ll all be home, together. And after that? I pray you’ll spend more summers with Daddy and I, but I know that may not be reality.
Mommas, lets remember that boredom is a blessing. Lets embrace the days we spend entertaining our kids and lets embrace the days we sit back and watch them create their own entertainment. Lets take the pressure off ourselves and embrace each day as it is.
I hope you all have a wonderful start to your summer breaks!