It is summer, the season of childhood bliss and parental…I suppose “misery” is too strong a word. I don’t know, maybe not.
I am looking around at all the other moms in my world and a whole lot of them seem to be teetering on the brink. They are rushing about to camps, water parks, and play dates. They are anxiously checking bank accounts on their smartphones too because fun in modern day America it turns out, has a pretty steep price tag. Moms are in the grocery store where their kids are running amok. They don’t even care, because you know what? They are entertained and if I don’t buy mac and cheese they will burn me at the stake later, I tell you! I see moms pecking away at laptops during swim meets, desperate to get a little bit of work done too. A few lines of text, and a panicked plea to whoever is near-
“What event is this? Six? Are you kidding? We are only on six? We were on six an hour ago! Johnny! Get on your cap and get in the pool! WE ARE ALREADY ON EVENT SIX!!!” A few of us are whimpering quietly behind locked bathroom doors, with a glass of wine in our hands at two in the afternoon as we pose our most desperate heart’s cry into the abyss-
IS IT OVER YET?!?
I am speaking for a friend.
I am working this summer more than ever before and my kids are struggling to adjust. They, like all of the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, have teensy moments when they completely believe the entire world revolves around them. My part in all of this is that I admit that I am a product of my generation. I am trying to do a little bit of all of it. I am working from home but I want my kids to have fun too. Sometimes, my kids expect too much entertainment, too many activities…
But there is one thing I am pretty old fashioned about- I never allow them to say they are bored.
I have been so consistent in this one area that on the rare occasion when one of them seems like they might say the word, the other kids quickly move in to snatch their sibling from the brink. “Don’t do it! Don’t say it!!!” They scream with terror in their eyes. Because in my house, if you say you are bored, I respond like this:
“Oh, how wonderful! I am so excited to hear that because you know what? I am never bored. I always have far more work than I can ever accomplish, so if you are bored, it means you are not contributing enough to this household. Here you go sweetie, this is a list of chores for you. I never want you to be bored. See you when you are done.”
It is crazy dangerous to teach our kids that the world owes them a life filled with entertainment. It is a lesson that just doesn’t do them any favors down the road.
So, Moms, come on…join me in the old-fashioned revolution- Ban the Word “Bored”!
If you do, you just might make it until September.