The Gift of Boredom

I think often about the type of life I want to craft for my family. I love the word "craft" in describing what I'm trying to do, because it denotes something handmade. Something with a lot of heart in it. Something made out of love.

In this fast-paced life we live today, it's easy to be caught up in so much. So many good things. There's work, because we need to eat and clothe ourselves. There's education and things we need to learn. There are hobbies and passions to keep kindled. There are fun places to go, friends to enjoy, sports teams to join, book to read, movies to watch. Whew, there's so much to do!

We can become so over-stimulated we become bored. Or we can be so busy that we never have a minute to ourselves, and when we do, we don't know what to do with it. What do we do in those free spaces?

Some months ago I was over at a friend Kelly's house for dessert and coffee. Something she said rang in my ears, long after we left the conversation.

"I want my kids to have the gift of boredom," she said. She went on to say that her kids won't necessarily view it as a gift, but it is.

I love that. And I nodded my head in affirmation. I want that gift for my kids too. And along with that gift comes the gift of time: time to explore, to create, to think. Time to run around outside, free of inhibitions. Time to use their imaginations, to throw rocks into a creek and go exploring in the woods. Time to get dirty, find pine cones, look at leaves.

That's the way I grew up, but it's fast becoming unheard of. A distant way of life long ago. But I want to work to create space for the gift of boredom.

What about you? How do you create space for your child/children to explore nature, engage their imaginations, and play?