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.

Back to school knots

When I was young, back to school time was always met with mixed feelings in my young mind and heart.  Sadness to see the summer go, butterflies at the thought of new teachers and new classmates, and the excitement at the smell of new notebooks stacks of 3 hole punched paper and pencils.

As a mom now, back to school hasn’t meant TOO much.  S has been in preschool for two years and C is too young to go, but it wasn’t a huge deal. This year, it is.  S starts kindergarten in 3 weeks and I’m sick to my stomach over it.

It’s a mixture of things, once again.  My fear of whether I am starting her too early and should have “redshirted” her.  Will she be safe on a bus that has K-5th graders on it? What if the bus breaks down? Will she eat her lunch in the 20 min allowed? Will the two small recess breaks allowed be enough for her little mind and body?

And will she be sad and lonely? And if so, will there be someone that notices in this new sea of students where the cafeteria ratio of adults to kids is something she has never experienced.

I know these are all things that may happen and if not, she (and I) will make it through. But the thought of putting her on that bus and not really knowing what is going on from 8.15 to when she returns to the curb at 4.15 has me sick with worry.

I guess I have 3 weeks to figure it out.  The last thing I want is to appear nervous or sad when she’s climbing those steps on the bus. Ahhhh letting them go is so hard!

Much, much harder than I ever imagined when I wasn’t a mama.


it goes so fast

My little itty bitty graduated preschool yesterday.

I picked her up from school just like any other day, but had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. She started here when she was 3…and she will be 5 in a couple of months. I feel like it was just yesterday when I had to leave her crying in the arms of her teachers. Teachers that I just can’t begin to thank enough for taking care of my heart.

Her graduation ceremony was yesterday evening. My little baby…that I feel like was just born, walked across the stage in her little cap and gown (so cute!) to accept her “diploma.” I was sure she would cry. I was sure she would get stage fright. But nope, she walked right across, accepted the diploma from her teachers, then followed the instructions to pose with the piece of paper so mommy and daddy could get a photo.

Flashback to her first holiday concert at just over 3 years of age. Same auditorium. Same stage. The class started singing and she walked to the front of the stage sobbing to be rescued. Where did that little preschooler go?

She’s blooming right in front of my eyes. Posed for pics with the grandparents…enjoyed a celebratory ice cream after (and a bedtime that turned out to be way too late).  She amazes me every day, my firstborn.  I just can’t believe we are already starting kindergarten.

It goes by SO fast, doesn’t it. And I’m worried it will even go by faster with her younger brother. Time, slow down please…