By Melissa Ford
Winter break!!! Yippee! School winds down, your family gathers near, and the holiday excitement builds. When my children were younger, I’d plan endless activities to keep them occupied: trips to museums, sledding, baking cookies, shopping, holiday crafting, movie watching, and more. It was my singular mission to pack their winter vacation so I could dodge the inevitable boredom bullet, but I never did. Usually, within the first week of winter break, my children would whine those dreaded words, “I’m bored,” dimming my holiday glow.
Announcing their boredom, I’d feel an overwhelming surge of irritation as I’d reflect on my tireless efforts selecting the perfect presents, creating that special holiday magic, and planning non-stop entertainment - all for what? Boredom? From there, it was all downhill as I felt compelled to concoct the perfect antidote to their holiday funk. Spewing out suggestion after suggestion of things to do, my kids would meet each novel solution with grunts and groans and exclamations of “That doesn’t sound fun!” Miffed, I’d throw my hands up, shouting: “Then, you figure it out!”
Now, I can breathe a sigh of relief for boredom is a thing of the past. My kids are young adults in college with a newfound wisdom and perspective that comes from living on their own. They appreciate the rest and relaxation of their winter breaks, eating delicious home-cooked meals, snuggling in their warm, clean beds, and finding piles of laundry miraculously washed and dried. How wonderful that I no longer needed to cure the boredom of children during the holidays!
A couple of evenings ago, my son, a senior in college and home for the holidays, sat down in the living room with me and began to chat. We were enjoying each other’s company, laughing about past holidays, and then out of nowhere he proclaimed: “I’m bored.” My jaw dropped! Could I have heard correctly? Bored? But, he had only been home for two days! Where was that newfound wisdom and perspective?
I took a deep breath . . . to stop my irritation and compulsion to concoct the perfect antidote to his holiday doldrums. Instead, I tapped into my newfound wisdom and perspective that comes from living on your own as I smiled and calmly responded: “I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” How wonderful that I no longer needed to cure the boredom of children during the holidays!