We drove past the house at the end of our street several times this weekend. The two boys of the house were raking leaves pretty much every time we passed. Wait, several times they were actually just holding rakes and looking at the leaves. Mike and I got quite a few chuckles at their expense.
Even now you can ask my kids what happens when you say, "I'm bored." They'll tell you it means "pick up sticks." When they complained about being bored, they were sent to pick up sticks. Three kids and a wagon in the yard, may not mean many sticks get picked up, but soon they were busy. Kids learn to entertain themselves, but usually only when forced to do so.
Another thing the kids may remember is "No Screens". I'd set a time limit, usually a few hours, in which they could do anything - but no screens could be involved. No computer screen, tv screen, gameboy screen, etc. . . Again, an attempt to force them to entertain themselves, and not be aided by the brightest minds at Nintendo or Nickelodeon.
Now me? I never have to be forced to leave behind the TV or the computer. I never have to be forced outside to "play". Wait, Mike might read this. Hmmm . . . Okay, okay. So I don't exactly practice what I preached. But what if I did?
What if I'd spent as much time in the yard this weekend as those kids on the corner? Even if I didn't have bags and bags of leaves to show for my efforts, could I have gained something else? Part of wanting the kids to be on their own when they were growing up was to give them a chance to look around, hear themselves think, and learn who they were.
Naw, nevermind. I have the whole 2005 season of Ghost Whisperer dvr'd.