Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer boredom is a myth

I don't remember feeling bored as a kid. I'm sure that I must have experienced it once or twice, and I'm sure my mother can recall me whining about it several more times than that, but I honestly don't have any memories of boredom. There always seemed to be something to do, something to spark the imagination, something to occupy your time, and the best place to do that was outside. Whether it was sunny, rainy, snowy, windy... we were out the door and didn't return until hungry or frozen.
These days kids are different. They want to be entertained every second of the day. If they don't have an action-packed itinerary lined up, they're quick to cry "bored!" I've found that boredom can be cured quite easily, especially during the summer months by merely engaging my kiddos in some sort of exploration. Often times, a local road trip leads to amazing discoveries and only costs the price of gasoline in the vehicle.
This past Sunday we hopped in the family rig and made our way across the beautiful jewel that we are so blessed to live near, the amazing Lake Champlain. As we meandered down the main route toward the islands that lead us to the ferry boat, we approached the sandbar that connects the islands to the mainland. On either side of this strip of road there are wetlands, marshy treasure troves of abundant wildlife. This area has been designated for conservation,
& is a vital piece of real estate for innumerable species. The state has installed large platforms on the tops of each of the tall power poles that line the wetland on the southern side of the road. Osprey productivity, and the encouragement of nesting pairs to utilize these platforms
for nest building is the sole purpose of these platforms. On this particular trip
through osprey alley, my youngest made note that each and every platform (we forgot to count them but I would approximate that there are between 8-10 total) housed a beautifully crafted, enormous osprey nest, every one! And that at least half of those had visible offspring, some of them sitting on the edges of their nests... testing their big, powerful wings. We drove slowly, paused a bit, soaked them in.
They were awe inspiring and my boys were quiet with fascination. As we drove on, the contented smiles on my boys' faces said it all, wildlife has the potential to wow children to silence, to spark inner contemplation. I wondered what they were thinking, what was spinning through their amazing little brains, but left them to their thoughts without question. I watched my little guy in the rear view mirror, head out the window with the wind whipping through his hair. Within no time he was back at his favorite pastime, targeting passing bikers and/or walkers and yelling at top voice... "I LOVE YOU!" Don't ask because I don't know, this began quite some time ago, and causes a great deal of giggling & hilarity within the confines of the vehicle. I allow it because it seems quite harmless and some of the reactions of the intended targets is priceless, who doesn't like to hear those three words??
After a long day of visiting with family across the lake, we returned home in the dark. While on the ferry boat coming back to our side of the lake, I opened the moonroof on the vehicle and we all gazed to the heavens. The sky was full, packed to capacity with sparkling white dots. As it always does, staring into space created a myriad of profound questions to erupt from both of
my boys, most of them I had no solid answers for, but I was amazed that they were being asked. I love those times with my children, absorbing their energy. Understanding that they are individuals, with their own thoughts and ideas, their own purpose on this Earth. I just closed my eyes and enjoyed the moment.
So, in a very roundabout way, I think that I've come to my point... boredom should always be a non-issue. If someone in your house is suffering from a debilitating case of boredom, hop in the car. Destination... no place in particular. Just be sure to enjoy the ride.

1 comment:

  1. A good car ride, but especially when viewing nature, is always a good cure for boredom. My family has always done the very same thing.