It happened. Mark it down. At four years, six months and fourteen days… My son got bored.
It’s truly the first time I’ve really seen it happen. He was so sick of everything it was palpable.
“Who can we call???”
“Where can we go???”
“Pleeaassee mom!! I want to GO somewhere!!”
I called a few people. But when I got a response it was already 6:30, which is dangerously close to bedtime and we’d have to turn around and come right home.
“Sorry, buddy. It’s not gonna happen tonight.”
This didn’t go over well. He cried. Then he threw a paper airplane at me.
“Go to your room”, I snapped. (I mean, it was a paper AIRPLANE. The fuselage could have caught on fire and maimed me for life.)
He cried harder but obediently walked to his bedroom, turning dramatically around half-way there to say, “I’m sorry, Mommy.”
This damn kid. He’s too much.
A few minutes later I went to him. He was on his rocking chair, legs crossed with a book sitting on his lap. He was flipping through the pages, looking at hippos and memorizing their behaviors.
We looked at each other, and I remembered something I had promised myself when I was seventeen and had just gotten my heart broken, only to have my parents tell me it would be alright and to come watch Jeopardy with them.
I promised myself I would always remember what it felt like to be a kid. I promised I would remember the pain and anguish and confusion and that I wouldn’t turn into an adult who forgot they were once young.
“Garrett, I remember how awful it feels to be bored.”
“When you were young or old?”
“When I was young. I remember getting so sick of my house and wanting to go anywhere…”
“Because you hated your house?”
“No! Because I was so bored.”
“Oh yeah. I’m really bored.”
“Well, I know. And I’m sorry. And I totally understand how bad it feels.”
“I’m really sad about it.”
“This book has a lot of pages. Like a hundred.”
“I know! Let’s look at the last page and see how many.”
“Whoa! 32! That’s MORE than a hundred.”
“Well, it’s not more, but that’s okay. Do you want pancakes for dinner?”
“Can we go somewhere?”
“Not til tomorrow.”
“Okay. I have to pee.”
“Well, let’s go do that.”
The ironic part is, since G-Man came along I don’t think I’ve been bored for one hot second. Today we played with legos, watched TV, played video games, did a craft project, grocery shopped, and went to the bird store to look at parrots. But I remember how that wasn’t enough sometimes. And I’m so grateful I remember. I hope he really, really knows that I do.