School's out for summer! Rock on kids...
Oh. That's right. You're bored. There's nothing to do.
Summer vacation isn't even really a vacation anymore. It's just a few weeks. It's summer break. If I were a kid, it would be just enough of a "vacation" to piss me off.
"What did you do when you were my age," she asked.
Well, I did watch some television. I loved me some soaps. But, of course, we only
had five channels, two of which didn't come in too well. So, there wasn't much else to watch during the day.
I don't ever recall being "bored." At 12 years old, I had garnered enough skills to man my own covered wagon with the pioneers, head west and survive to tell my story. I'm serious.
- I cut grass. On my own. Without being asked. And, if the mower was out of gas, I grabbed me a hose and siphoned some out of whatever car was available. Nothing quite like swallowing a mouth full and burping gas fumes for two days.
- I washed cars. I cleaned them out -- with the help of my pet goat, Molly, more affectionately called Matt. I also pocketed any change I found to compensate me for my helpfulness.
- I could cook. Not scrambled eggs. I could cook an awesome roast, potatoes, veggies, cornbread and make some tea. I could bake a cake that looked like a cake when I finished it. Nothing was burnt or looked strange. I tested recipes of my own creation and those that I found in cookbooks.
- Just because it has to be said: I could walk barefoot through the woods without crying, complaining, hopping or thinking it was cruel punishment and that I might die.
- I caught stuff. Bugs, lizards, toads, worms -- if it crawled, I caught it. And, then I used it to torture my sister.
- I read...gasp!...books that were printed on paper.
- I cleaned the house. Unlike my own daughter, I knew how to operate a vacuum, wash clothes, wash dishes, mop, sweep and more. I had accomplished something that she still has not: I could put up and hang my own clothes and make up my own bed.
- I daydreamed.
- I wrote poetry.
- I went for walks in the woods without telling anyone and lived to tell about it.
- I fed animals. Well, most of the time.
- I rambled through my parents' bedroom. A lot. I was convinced that they had some deep dark secret. I spent hours rifling through stuff trying to find proof that either my mom was pregnant when they married or, more importantly, that I had been adopted. I never found evidence of either. I did find tampons. Never could figure out what in the world those were.
- I called 1-800 numbers and requested information on foreign travel, investing in gold and anything else I could get for free.
- I had yard sales at my grandparents' house. Then, I spent the rest of the summer counting and recounting my money from that and, of course, all of the change that I stole from my parents' cars.
- I sometimes played some of the five or six games we had for our Atari.
- Usually, by the end of the summer, I had rearranged my entire bedroom by myself.
I wasn't bored. I was a kid.
Sometimes, I wish my kids would learn how to be kids.
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