Yup, me, this art-planning-park-scheduling-freebie-summer-activity-collector has been letting her kids get - and stay - bored, since school ended. Sure, we do little whatever outings here and there, but I am not the cruise director this summer, and if I still am the cruise director, then I am on a long break.
This was hard for them - and me, I won't lie - at the beginning. I'm a big believer in not watching hours of tv or being on phones, tablets or the regular old computer in the kitchen, and so I schedule things, lots of things. However. I'm also working from home for some hours a week this summer, coupled with the fact that I am not feeling interested in policing people, and so I am letting this all go. I'd rather sit on the porch and read a book than beg people to do watercolor paint with me, and so that's what I'm doing. If anyone wants to paint, they know they can ask for help in getting set-up, they know there is a suggestion list of things they can do when they're bored, and a list of secret kindnesses they can do for others in the house should they be REALLY BORED, but that's about it. This is the very-long-but-basic motto of the summer: If you want to spend these ten weeks off from school, the weeks with the warm weather and the sun shining, on a device, then that is your choice. I'll be on the porch with my drink.
When I first announced this new policy, they all looked at each other with huge and excited eyes. And in my head, I thought: TRY IT, PEOPLE. PLAY SUBWAY SURFERS UNTIL YOUR EYES FALL OUT OF YOUR HEADS, YOU'LL ALL BE BACK SOON ENOUGH. But I did not say that out loud because I am reading quietly on the porch.
I don't want to say I was right, but I WAS RIGHT. Lalalalalalala.
One by one, they are coming back, having left their devices behind - likely with no battery left - and they've started doing creative thing.
Case in point, the little girl who took an Amazon box and turned it into a puppet theater with nothing but a pair of scissors and a box of chalk. And she performed her play for the rest of us as we ate lunch outside, in the backyard where Josh has been waging war against the mosquitoes. He's hasn't won the war yet, but he's been winning a few battles and that's more than I can say for any other summer we've had in this house so far.