Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summertime Boredom

If anyone ever needed more proof that Richard Thompson and his comic strip Cul de Sac are the Charles Schulz and Peanuts of the 21st century, here it is in these simple four panels. This is kiddom. This is summer and kiddom: The anticipation of emancipation, exuberance, joy, and then the sudden letdown that, hey, summer is here in all its hot, sticky boredom.

I'm sure there were times when I was bored as a kid. But through the rose-colored glasses of adulthood, those moments are buried and the high times are what come to the fore of memory.

One thing I worry about with my kids: They don't have a wild little corner of the back yard where they can play and dig and create. As I kid, I had several spots where we (my brother and sister and I) could build villages for the teddy bears and other such constructions. We had the yard behind the abandoned chicken coop where we built a pond, river, trails and such through all the crazy weeds. Then the spot behind the lilacs. Then the spot on the northwest corner of the house where we could also build. And parts of the garden. My kids have the spot underneath the playhouse, and now that the sand and the accompanying feline Lincoln Logs are gone, perhaps that can be their spot. I've got the bricks. I should show them how to build houses for their teddy bears. And give them mine to play with. But maybe that's trying to get my childhood back through them. Better off letting them discover their own creations.

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