When boredom strikes

Let them be bored. I’ve heard that so often lately…in this age of electronics and just plain old busyness. So I decided to try it one morning.

S woke up and as usual said “mama what are we going to do today?” It was Saturday, so usually we would have an outing of some kind planned in the morning, and then we’d spend the afternoon around the house, outside, etc. But this time I said “we’re actually going to have a family weekend. We’re going to spend all day today and tomorrow here at home and play inside and out!”

That didn’t go over well. C just turned two so he was oblivious. But S whined and complained. “I’m so bored. There’s nothing to do.” I encouraged her to go to her playroom and pick out a game. Or that we could bring the easel up from the basement and she could paint. Or we could do a puzzle. Or we could read. She stomped off to her room about an hour into the morning.

Then I found a piece of paper slid out under her door.

And she was. She made a few ‘books’ that day. She used her imagination and when given a big chunk of unstructured time, she came up with fun illustrations and words that she asked us to staple together for her later that day.

Having spent time in her kindergarten class, I know how structured her days are. We are a common core state; so much has changed from when I was in kindergarten. Kids move from one activity to another quickly. There is a not a lot of time for free play or socializing apart from the 15 min morning recess and 20 min lunch one. Their days are filled with worksheets, reading books, math puzzles and the like. This reinforced for me the need for more “boredom days” where there is time and space to let the mind wander.

So we’ll be doing more of these days. S may not like it – but especially with summer coming, I think we’ll have plenty of opportunities and she’ll learn to love them.

that stillness

I like this daily prompt. And not just because black is my favorite color to wear; anyone that steps into my closet can quickly tell that’s the case.

It reminds me of nighttime. When all is still. When the kids are safely tucked in their beds, all cozy. When it’s time to get things done…and reflect.

I miss them when they’re sleeping. I see their little toys scattered about as I pick up the house; I see their little shoes in the mudroom where they were tossed off. But as a relax into the black of the night, I have a sense of peace.

That we’ve had another great day…that they’ve grown physically and mentally….that these little wonders are mine to shape and help grow. And I realize again in that darkness, when my thoughts are my own and uninterrupted, how very, very luck we are to have each other.


via Daily Prompt: Black

nevertheless, she persisted

I watched my daughter climbing up the rock wall on the back of our swingset a couple of days ago.  She has gotten fairly good at it, but it takes a few tries and she sometimes falls a couple of times before she is able to hoist herself all the way up.

“Mama watch this!” she said as she put one foot at a time on a foothold.  She got stuck, not sure what her next move should be, and I reminded her to move her arms up the rope to help pull herself up for the next step. She slipped, and determined to make it to the top, started back up from the ground.  Two more tries and she was up in the clubhouse.

I hope she never loses that persistence.  That sense of determination she has is something I’m so proud of. Sometimes it comes across as defiance; when she wants to finish coloring her picture just perfectly even though it’s bathtime,  for example. But if I really think about it, I never want her to lose it.

There will be so many challenges in her life, that I want to find a way to keep encouraging her to try and try again.  That desire to succeed, to make it, to accomplish something she sets her mind to is SO important, I think, especially for young girls. I never want her to think she can’t do something because of her gender. I’m not sure if the current climate has me thinking more about this, or just the fact that I have a young girl now.

So I’ll have to remember that, the next time she is trying to get a stubborn zipper up by herself and I’m standing by the door keys in hand rushing her out the door…I should stop to recognize her persistence when she succeeds. Persistence and determination will get her a lot farther in life than simply hurrying to the next thing on our list.