Whoever coined the phrase “lazy days of summer” obviously didn’t have children. While the alarm clock ceases there is the buzz of the dishwasher that cycles not one but two times a day. The lull between breakfast and lunch is only marred by the realization that I may have just gone to the store but empty shelves tell another story.
While each summer’s landscape is different with the passing years, the lazy days of summer might easily be translated into less glamorous semantics. In true transparency, before having children, it did seem more attractive. Spontaneity, lingering outside as the sun settles in for the day and fireflies illuminating the darkness. Even as a child, the only worries were who was taking me to the pool and how long can we play freeze tag until the darkness interrupted our fun. And while the boys are older and we have more freedom, I look on compassionately at the exhausted younger mothers that put on the facade of having it all together.
I realize that I might be bursting the delusional bubble where daily planned arts & craft are paired with creative imaginative play in an effort not to be labeled a bad parent because you allowed your kid to play video games or watch hours of television. Of course, I didn’t have Pinterest to help formulate a day’s worth of activities for my younger children. Had that been an option, it would have looked like Pinterest and Freddie Kruger’s love child. The illusion lies into what we are groomed to believe. I tossed those out the window along with what “experts” suggest in cultivating the “perfect” summer. Can we agree the word perfect is overused and has no real purpose unless you are describing dessert?
My parent win was teaching the boys how to spend time alone. Entertaining themselves by listening to music, reading, and yes, watching television or playing video games in a happy balance. Showing them that boredom is only really a blank canvas to create their own fun. The words “I’m bored” are not uttered. They are able to navigate their own way of amusing themselves. Now if only the refrigerator would be so kind as to magically fill up, that would be delightful.