Steppin’ Out of My Little Box

I get in my ruts. Doesn’t everyone? Mine usually consist of wanting to hide out in my house, write on the ‘puter, organize, clean and cook. Rinse and repeat, day in, day out.

Oh, and read…yes, lots of reading, whenever I can manage to insert that activity into life with an active 5-year-old and a couple of businesses to run.

I buy books or activities with the noblest of intentions – “This will be a game that Emily might enjoy” or “I should get this for when she wants to play out in the yard” – yeah, the best of intentions, truly! But then, when she shows an interest, I wish there was a special nannybot that could play for me so that I can get back to doing things I’m actually interested in. The games are never particularly fun for me, the art projects seem deadly dull, and I am inept at the science experiments.

My parents did something similar. I remember my dad buying a pack of three kites. My parents had recently divorced and I was living with him in an apartment high up on a hill. There weren’t a lot of kids to play with there, and I was rather lonely.

I remember the kites sitting in the box and Dad promising me that we would fly them on a nice, windy day. I was six or seven, and it might have only been a day or two of me asking and him saying “no”, or it might have been weeks or months, but early one Saturday morning I took one of them out and tried to get it to fly.

I’m the only one of my family who has ever been a morning person – so while Dad was sleeping in to maybe 8am on a Saturday, possibly later, I had been up for hours. By the time he was conscious, I had wrecked the little kite. There were two others in the box, but boy oh boy was he grumpy with me.

I don’t think we ever got around to flying those kites. It really wasn’t Dad’s comfort zone anyway. At least, that was my interpretation of it – I don’t remember much of any kind of hiking or outdoor activities. And while I enjoy a nice hike now and then, I fear I’m much the same.

Biking poops me out within a block or two of the house, tennis is way too much running (plus I’m not a fan of balls heading anywhere in the direction of my head) and I’m against running in general unless I’m in mortal danger and fleeing for my life. I’m more of a “let’s leisurely garden” or I’m always willing to play a game of pool if I’m in a sporting mood.

So when Emily appeared at the kitchen door with two frisbees in her hands and asked if we could play…I was…leery. Playing Frisbee meant…running…and…stretching. It meant going outside in less than perfect conditions while not gardening (my entire reason for normally being outside).

Before I could over-think it, or come up with a dozen reasons why not too, I said “Sure, let me finish this and then we will go play Frisbee.”

We played for a good fifteen minutes before the sun in our eyes was too much for either of us. And you know what? I had a good time. I really did. Enough that, two days later, we did it all over again. And I called a homeschool mom I know and said, “Y’know, Frisbee is rather fun, we should take the kids to the park sometime and just have some free play.”

She instantly began planning an organized game of Frisbee golf – and all I said in return was, “You know, I really liked just throwing the darn things. Why don’t we just take a whole handful of ’em and just have some fun?”

Sometimes it can be quite rewarding to step outside of our little boxes and do something new. Who knows? Maybe I’ll buy a kite…

And I’ll be adding this ‘column’ below to regular posts. Feel free to send me links you see in the news…

Need another reason to homeschool?

Only 8 states will allow parents access to their own child’s permanent public school record – http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/01/19/who-should-have-access-to-student-records

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