I have found one place where boredom becomes bliss. The days slow, and life becomes about finding excitement in the mundane.
That magical clump of days in which we attempt to pack fun into every single moment. Because if we don’t, they get bored. And if they get bored, they get annoying.
So, we do all the things that make up for that perfect summer collage. Cannonballing into the water, slurping a watermelon, proudly holding up a line with a flopping fish at the end of it.
And I fully support fishing but can’t help but wonder if that fish (we usually catch and release) swims back home after his out-of-water experience with a renewed sense of purpose. He cleans up his life, and eventually writes a book claiming there is intelligent life out there and they wear Buzz Lightyear swimming trunks.
Although at times I purposely allow them to be bored (and by allow, I mean force) because I strongly believe that boredom sparks creativity. I probably cover that topic in at least one column in each summer, and that’s because it is something I feel strongly about.
At the same time, I am human and can only take so much of the whining and the, “Mom, I’m bored.”
For one, it is totally unrelatable. I don’t think I’ve been bored in at least 15 years.
Because there is always something to do around here, and if there isn’t then I’m probably forgetting the pizza in the oven again. So, sitting down to relax is like a mom rebellion.
“Heck with dishes, I’m sitting down anyway.”
Or even better, I tell the kids to do it, and then all forms of calm just go straight out the window.
Walking into the room, five minutes later, I find them eating around the dirty dishes.
“Oh, you mean you wanted us to do the dishes too? We just cleaned around them.”
And then he points to a spot on the counter where a rag swiped through the middle of a spaghetti splotch.
See, there is always something to do. Even when it’s having a meltdown in the kitchen.
However, I have found one place where boredom becomes bliss. The days slow, and life becomes about finding excitement in the mundane.
At the end of last summer, we bought a camper. It isn’t anything fancy, and it takes up most of our driveway. But once we get it all packed up and arrive to our spot — we are like different people.
We are more patient as we set up our temporary home.
(Note: That does NOT include Shawn while we are attempting to back into the spot, because that is a whole other story we will one day cover titled, “The Day Dad’s Eye Started Twitching.”)
We listen better, as we sit around the campfire and tell stories.
We play more. Last time we brought a bag toss game, which is surprisingly harder than I expected. So, we spent a lot of time mastering our throws to get into the little hole and listening to Connor brag about his tossing skills.
We explore together. From hikes where the boys are convinced they saw Bigfoot to wandering around the campground looking for Logan — who we found eating breakfast with a family three campers down — quality time is found as we discover this slow-paced life leads to a deeper existence.
Because somewhere between checking for ticks at night and praying there aren’t snakes while I hike in my flip-flops because I bring the wrong shoes to everything, I find absolute beauty and peace.
I mean, the kids still fight — but their words seem to dissipate under the fabulous sunset. Shawn still snores (and well, I guess I do too) but it’s all forgotten in the morning breeze as we sip our coffee.
And this has all taught me something valuable. You don’t need a camper to appreciate the beauty of creation — just go out your door. I find myself more drawn to the outside right here in our yard, and enjoying a slower life pace whenever possible.
We walk around our own streets more and find ourselves visiting people in our own neighborhood that we’ve never even met.
And when the boys repeat those famous two words of summer, I just look at them and point outside.
Because really, there is always something to do.