As summer slowly slips away, so does my sanity. If I hear the words “I’m bored” one more time from the mouths of my darling children, there will be a yard sale on my front lawn with oodles of toys, art supplies, sports equipment, an above-ground pool and various other sundries all for sale for a dollar or two.

The proceeds of this yard sale would go to sponsor my own vices, the things that I wish I could do with my spare time, assuming that I had some (time that is, not vices; that’s a whole other column).

Boredom? I crave boredom. Just once I would like to wake up and have absolutely nothing to do. I fantasize about it. I visualize myself reaching over to slap the snooze button on the alarm clock, wiping the drool from my chin before settling back down into the puddle of my early morning respite without so much as a thought, worry, idea or urgency to do a single thing springing to my mind. I wonder what that would feel like.

If I were bored, I would wander around my messy home, oblivious to it all and do something radically soothing like load up a video game and shoot imaginary enemies with my blaster gun, followed by hours of Dance Dance Revolution before enjoying hours of mind-numbing cartoons and sitcoms with canned-laughter to prompt me to know when a bad joke is told.

I would eat all the potato chips in a family-sized bag and leave it on the sofa for the dog to eat my crumbs, so I wouldn’t have to vacuum, choosing instead to nap, before the next foray into the kitchen pantry to devour all the groceries I could reach.

Oh, but wait, I can’t do that. My fantasy ends when the bank statement comes in.

Now for my “I-am-old” prose: Remember when you got up early and instead of your mom driving you across town to see your pals, you rode this thing called a bicycle, which you got on before your Mom had her second cup of coffee and had time to plan out your chore chart for the day? Nobody cared one bit where you were, whom you were with or why, so long as you weren’t late for dinner and the cops didn’t escort you home. Mind you, we didn’t have bike helmets and that explains a lot about my generation.

Today, our kids have iPads, iTunes and a whole host of iExcuses why all the stimulation in the world isn’t enough. We are raising a generation that is so scheduled, constrained and configured they don’t know how to make their own fun unless we coordinate it for them. That is sad. Helicopter parenting is preventing our kids from taking flight. If we let them roam we are neglectful and if we don’t, they never learn street smarts. It’s quite a predicament we’ve created. Soon our children will have day jobs, responsibilities and deadlines. Now that is boring. They’ll miss recess when it’s gone.

Thankfully, in our house, the daily chore chart has lessened the whining. Bored? Wash the dishes. Retrieve the brown pebbles from the litter box. Scrub the tub. Problem solved.

My dear children, as boring as it seems, enjoy these lazy, hazy days of summer, because you know what’s coming next, right? Math. Yep, every day. Mwah-ha-ha.


Kelly Waterhouse