Thursday, November 19, 2009
On the Go
Earlier this month, I was out with my kids on the Penn campus on a Saturday morning. They were climbing up and down the "Plateau" sculpture on the western edge of the campus, and we had time to kill before a free event was to start on the other side of campus. So I took the opportunity to call a couple of old friends of mine, since this would be as good as it would get as far as my free time for the weekend.
Both have three kids, and so my question to both after the initial "how are you doing" was: "What are you guys up to right now?" The surprising response: "Nothing." In one friend's case, two of his kids were playing Legos and the baby was with Mother; while in another, his oldest was next door playing with his friends and the two youngest were watching TV.
"What's that like," I almost wanted to ask. I can't tell you the last time, barring very inclement weather or both Amy and I being sick, that we just hung out at home for more than an hour or two. Both Jada and Aaron like their animated movies, and Jada is getting back into her Leapfrog educational video game; but neither can simply bum around at home, despite the many toys waiting for them there, before getting bored or picking a fight.
I suppose I am somewhat to blame for their short attention spans, what with my insistence that we are out of the house and off to some local haunt. I hope the fun they have and the ways these experiences broaden their horizons offsets the negativity associated with not being able to sit still. And, lately, I have mellowed; I can more easily read when either or both just need a break, and I let them have that break.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go scheme this weekend's great adventure.