Monday, August 15, 2016

Only Boring People Are Bored

“We’re not doing that much this summer,” my daughter said on Day One, Week Two of summer break. “Everybody I know is on vacation or going on vacation or doing something fun every day. We’re not. We’re going to have a boring summer.”

Kids, man. They think they require constant stimulation to have a good time. I struggled against the urge to explode into a million pieces of indignation.

“Instagram and Snapchat are not accurate representations of people’s real lives in summer,” I replied. People don’t post pictures of the naps they take or the hotdogs they eat for dinner or the sitting around watching cartoons, because that stuff is boring.

“Besides,” I added, “we’re doing plenty this summer. We may not have jumped off the summer with a vacation, but we are going to the shore later, and you have a mission trip and camp and there’s the pool and sleepovers and all the other stuff you do when there’s no school.”

And, before I could help myself:

“By the way, you bored at home? Make some plans of your own and stop whining about it! I can give you stuff to do if you’re bored!” Sometimes the Mom volume cranks up and you can’t even help it.

It works, though – she quickly and a little fearfully agreed that maybe we aren’t as lame as she thought.

I used to gape in confusion at parents who lamented that summer was too short, because with small children at home, I counted the precious minutes that I had to myself as the best part of the day. School was cool, and figuring out how to entertain children all day for ten weeks made every day a real drag.

Then as they grew and the school year turned into a frantic juggling act with every day double-and triple-booked no matter how you slice it, summer became a welcome respite. Now in the summer I hear more “I’m heading out – be back in two hours” than “What are we doing today, Mom?” My own time is wide open. Plus, there’s not much else to distract us from each other, which becomes important as kids get older and each summer is one more year closer to a new life for them and a new era for all of us. I find myself counting down the school days until summer and hang onto those few hot months with all of my sun-kissed might.

This part of the year, when the most difficult decision during a day might only be which new TV series to start watching on Netflix: this is the good part, even if there’s not much else to do.

Boring? Never. Bored? Nope. I’ll take it.

There's always someone with her mouth open in every picture

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