Posts Tagged ‘ hobbies ’

The Importance Of Being Bored, As A Parent

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

15 months.

For my son, boredom is basically non-existent. He can find entertainment out of poking me in the eye. But for a parent, boredom is a rare, higher state of being; in other words, it’s basically nirvana.

Even when he is asleep, the dishes are done, lunches are packed, and emails are checked, there’s still some kind of necessary “wind-down” time that has to take place which probably involves half-way watching American Idol, while being pretty confident that Jessica Sanchez has already won it anyway.

Then I realize, “Hey, I could be sleeping right now.”

Sleep is the go-to activity when there is ever actually extra time left in the day. But in rare instances, it can even be possible as a parent to enter the much elusive state of boredom.

Last week, I had to go somewhere after dinner for about an hour; during the time of night my wife and I generally watch an episode or two of Lost together on Netflix streaming. When I walked in, I saw my wife on the couch, playing on Facebook.

With a curious smile on her face, she said, “While you were gone, I got bored.”

That was a big deal. I can’t remember the last time she said that to me. Was it before our son was born? Before she was even pregnant? I don’t know, but it’s been long enough for it to be a foreign concept.

Boredom doesn’t really happen in our house. But I really wouldn’t mind it happening more often.

It makes me think of the concept of disposable income. You have more of it before you have kids. But then it shrinks to the point that if you any cash somehow floating up from the budget, it’s hard to spend it on something other than paying off other bills or adding it into savings.

Similarly, the state of boredom rarely gets to be consumed as is. Instead, it often translates as “I really should be doing something productive with this window of free time.”

I almost laugh at the concept of having of me having hobby, unless it’s something I do during my lunch break at work. Because hobbies require free time; time during which I would otherwise be bored.

So today, I wish the blessing of boredom upon all parents who read this.

Unless this article itself made you bored. In that case, I revoke my blessing.

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Jack the Handyman, Athlete, and Everything I’m Not

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Nine months.

I’ve made mention before that one of my many weaknesses is that I’m horrible/inexperienced when it comes to anything mechanical. My deficiencies in this department aren’t for a lack of interest or a lack of trying, though. A couple of weeks ago I attempted to change the back tire on my mountain bike, since the tube in the tire exploded from the summer heat.

Fast forward a few paragraphs into this story and it turns out I went to the bike repair shop and was told that the cost of repairing the bike would be more than the cost of the bike itself. I evidently am that bad at fixing even the simplest of things!

Fortunately, the girl at the repair shop was wrong and they were able to fix what I messed up for only $27. (It would have only cost me $10 to let them repair the flat tire in the first place.)

My son, Jack, on the other hand, will most likely not suffer from his old man’s bad luck with understanding mechanics. He currently is sort of obsessed with trying to figure out how mechanical stuff works. Jack loves taking things apart.

I can just tell already his brain is working in ways that mine never has.

Another thing about Jack that I can’t help but be aware of is that he will likely end up being an athlete; something I tried to be a few times as a kid, then eventually turned to art, music, and writing- activities that were more my speed. Even today, the physical activities I involve myself with, mainly running and mountain biking, are noncompetitive hobbies.

But Jack is simply built like an athlete. He’s a tank. He’s a 1940′s wrestler.

A few weeks ago at his 9 month check-up, we learned that he is in the 90th percentile for height and 75th for weight. Maybe as he gets older he’ll end up adopting the skinny, bow-legged Italian body style that his dad had. However, I think he will grow up to be the opposite: a tall, large-framed, coordinated boy who is picked first on teams in gym class.

It’s safe to say I’ll eventually become a sports fan and learn a lot more about doing home repairs, thanks to my son.

How did this athletically-built, mechanically-minded boy come from me? All I can say is that it figures. I’m still laughing at the irony that a fair complected, blue eyed kid could ever be the offspring of dark-featured, olive complected parents like his mom and me.

I wonder in what other ways Jack will be the opposite of me . . . I’m sure he’ll be a whiz in math and science.

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