Friday, January 22, 2016
Left To Their Own Devices
Today is a snow day today in preparation for the #Jonas #Snowmageddon2016 #Snowpocalypse #Connecticutconfetti #NewHampshirecocaine #Yankeeslush that's forecast to come tonight and all day tomorrow.
My kids are chewing their own paws off, they're going bonkers; they don't know what to do. For the next four days they're unscheduled, unbridled, school-less, probably in unbecoming snow pants. It's freaking them out.
It's sad. They seem pinned like specimens to the cloth of free time.
My son mumbled under his breath, "I wish I knew what to do." He then gave me a hangdog look, as if his not knowing how to occupy himself was my fault.
Buddy, I want to bark, I had a Kid-E microscope with a bee wing embalmed in something toxic that used to occupy me for hours. When I was your age I was never "bored." Figure it out, son.
"Pick something up and look at it closely," is what I recommended.
With a great deal of drama in slow motion he slid from the couch to the floor and lay there. "I knew you were going to say something unhelpful like that," he said into the carpet, "Mom."
Children, so scheduled, so gorged with activities that when faced with the opportunity to do whatever they want, they freeze like defenseless baby deer in the grass waiting for their mothers. They go boneless. They go Dali clock.
I waited. I wanted to see what would happen. Eventually, bumpily, punctuated equilibrium-ally, they figured it out. They dumped all the Legos onto the floor and added my plastic horseshoe crab models and began to play Indoor Sandbox Or, Let's See If She (Mom) Gets Mad When She Steps on Sensei Wu Figurines. Fun! My extreme un-helpfulness paid off!
This is what freedom means.