Something to think about…
Years ago, Moma and I were sharing coffee when she began to giggle.
“What?” I asked with a smile.
“I just had this funny thought about you when you were a little girl,” she said as she reached over and touched my hand. Then, she started to belly laugh.
“Well, don’t keep me in suspense.”
“Alright, alright,” she gasped for air. “Since you could walk you’d had this habit of following me around, yanking on my skirt and asking, ‘What can I do now, Moma?’”
I laughed. “You know, I have a vague memory of that.”
“You wore me out with that question. I’d give you an idea, and off you’d go, but you’d always come back. So one day, I’ll never forget it, I was making spaghetti sauce, and you came into the kitchen all pouty, and I knew you were about to ask that question. I knew I had to do something to save you from yourself. So I turned from the stove, grabbed your little hands in mine and sat down with you on the kitchen floor.
“‘Now, Kay, I want you to listen to me. I’m going to tell you something very important. Do you understand?’ Your little curls bobbed up and down.”
“‘I could give you all sorts of fun things to do right now. I have lots of ideas. We’ve got a big yard outside and there’s a playhouse out there, and upstairs there’s a room filled with all sorts of stuff to make things—paper and ribbons and fabric and glue, but, you know what, if I keep telling you what to do, you’re never going to learn how to entertain yourself, and that’s just about the most important thing there is in the whole wide world—to be able to entertain yourself.
“‘So, from now on I’m not going to give you so many play ideas. Let’s see what you can come up with on your own. Find out what you like to do and do it! You don’t need me to tell you. Why you’re four years old. You’re a big girl now! How ‘bout you try playing on your own. OK?’ I sent you on your way, and that was the end of your skirt-yanking days.”
“So, once I had your permission to discover my own interests, I never again asked you, ‘What can a do now, Moma?’”
“Never,” Moma chuckled.
I can think of no greater gift a parent can give to a child than the ability and the desire, no, the passion to find life so engaging and full of wonder that being bored simply doesn’t occur to them. With all the things there are in this world to see, hear, taste, touch, feel, smell, think, read, write, sing, say, cook, bake, exercise, do, build, play, dream—fill in the blank—how is it possible to be bored?
I’ve heard it said that the quality of our lives can be found in the never-ending choices we make day in and day out. If that’s true, why not choose to be easily entertained? WOW! WOW! WOW! It beats the “I’m bored” alternative.