Summer is winding down, the shelves of Back to School supplies are getting pretty bare and last year’s pants belonging to my teenager are about two inches to short. Summer vacation is ALMOST officially over. I’m feeling the time crunch to squeeze in any last minute outdoor adventures with my kids before they have to bask in the glory of florescent lights all day. But after a long summer of playing hard and working hard, I’m starting to feel pretty lazy at the end of the day. I know this six-year old boy who will not let me get away with this.
It would be so easy to cuddle up on the couch with my boys and watch a movie. Instead I grab a blanket, some pillows and explore a spot to sit outside; I usually lie around, and watch the world happen around us. High energy boys can only handle this for so long, so to keep their attention I have a few things I pull out of my bag of tricks. Cloud watching, how many birds do you hear, what other sounds do you hear? One of my favorites, what sounds don’t you hear; ants marching, wild grapes ripening, owls sleeping.
In order to hear, we need to create moments of silence and stillness. I can see them reaching back into their minds for knowledge that already exists, and then apply it in ways that are out of context from how they learned it. They search their memory bank for words they have read or heard to describe the things they see or hear. Unknowingly, my kiddos are strengthening their creativity and increasing their vocabulary.
Most importantly to me, we are also practicing centeredness, a calming of our fast forward minds, creating a foundation for self-awareness. In these moments I hope…I know I am creating unique impressions on their lives as they are on mine. On the short walk back to the house the boys ooze with mom love and brotherly comradery. I give myself a mental ‘good mom high-five’. All we did was nuthin’.
See you out there!
Something we saw while we were doin’ nuthin’.