Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nothin' Doin'

Okay, so I love the idea of Summer break. (Though I truly loathe Summer.) No schools to get up and take kids to, no homeschooling to do with Autumn. So the theory is great, but the practice SUCKS!

First, and I will whine a little here...I hate Summer. I am not one for heat and humidity. My idea of the perfect vacation would be roughing it in the alps with Bear Grylls. ;-) I do not look at posters of Hawaii and swoon. I have been there done that and I'm done.

Second, my kids absoutely SUCK at entertaining themselves...with the exception of Andrew. What the heck? I was happy to do my own thing without interference as a kid and a teen. I know all the books I encourage folks to read, regarding parenting, talk about playing with your kids, but sometimes that can be...well...boring. Especially, when the ideal parenting play time is me playing some mindnumbing video game. I LOATHE video games. Ugh!!!! However, with the exception of Andrew , who is 17 and now seems to really "get" the idea of just "chillaxing" (to coin a phrase of his) , the other two Autumn and Ben need "activities" to do or "people" to see. And I am now feeling like a haggard camp counselor, instead of just a mom, who needs as much a Summer break as the kids.

Third, what is wrong with me that I want them to just figure it out for themselves and leave me the heck alone? I truly love hanging out with Andrew. He's got a great sense of humor and fabulous taste in music (if I do say so myself). Autumn is happy to hear stories read aloud or do art projects. Ben, on the other hand, is unquestionably the toughest one. He can not seem to be happy by himself. He needs someone to watch him play video games (or play them with him). He berates me for not reading to him, however, whenever I offer, he isn't interested then. He wants someone to see or someplace to go almost every second of everyday, and still it doesn't seem enough. And me? Well, just the mother guilt and vastness of Ben's boredom are enough to exhaust me so much psychologically, that I feel physically tired when I wake up in the morning! Ugh!!

John Taylor Gatto, one of my heroes, said in an essay, that he remembered his grandfather telling him that there was never a reason to be bored. You know, if you are bored then find something to do. I could always find something to do, Robert said he could always find something to do. Why do I feel so damn guilty that I don't have my kids' lives planned to the minute during the Summer? Is it really my responsibility to keep them busy and happy? Or if I continue to coddle them will it mean that I will raise adults who can never just be at peace with themselves? If my kids are constantly looking to people, places, and things to fill the inevitable holes that will crop up in their lives , will they ever be in a quiet enough place to let God fill those holes?


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