“All there is to do around here is read or play! Hmph!”

I know I’m committed to my 30-day “nothing but positive things will escape my lips” challenge, but my six year old was making it far too easy for me to be sarcastic. I couldn’t help myself. I slipped.

“Oh, you poor baby! Did you hear that Honey? Our son is only able to read or play at the moment! Can you imagine the horror he must be feeling! Read or play?! What kind of parents are we? Where is our humanity! How can we expect our little boy to just play?!” Yes, I laid it on pretty thick. He rolled his eyes, message received.

That’s when I handed him a broom and dustpan and told him to sweep up the kitchen floor. “Either you can solve your bored problem, or I can.” He swept up the kitchen and then quickly found something else to do. I think he chose Legos.

But we are getting into that “I’m bored” stage of summer. We’ve exhausted our summer bucket list, been on multiple road trips to visit relatives, browsed through every museum within a 30 mile radius and now the record August heat is precluding us from any outdoor activities between the hours of 10am-6pm unless we’re in the mood for heat stroke. Plus, our little three year old had a minor outpatient surgery this week and he can’t get wet for a full 7 days, doctor’s orders. That means no pool, no sprinklers, and no slip-n-slide for us either.

So after our morning chores we sit indoors and try to keep the screens off and we wait…and wait…and wait. We wait to finally be able to go to the pool again, we wait for the stitches to heal, we wait to see if any friends will come over to liven up our day, but mostly we wait to see if mom will finally break down and utter the words we so long to hear, “Okay, you can watch a DVD now.”

But I’ve decided there is value in the boredom. I believe every kid needs to be good and bored every once in a while. Necessity is the mother of invention, and how will they invent anything if there is never any void to fill? Sheer, unadulterated boredom, with no televisions or computers to muck it all up, is the fire under their feet.

Thanks to the “I’m boreds” they have built amazing things out of Legos this week, my oldest two finished the novels they were reading, and my daughter created an at-home preschool in her bedroom for her younger siblings and it was a big success. My kids have made homemade movies with their friends, discovered they actually like salads, figured out how to make rubber band guns, and built forts out on the patio. 

This has all taken place without any direction from me other than the words, “After your chores, you can either read or play.” By the way, I’m taking my own advice too. Read or play. Read or play. Read or play!

Sigh…Don’t you just love summer?


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