By Jacob Hatcher
The sun had barely risen on the first day of summer break when a six year old voice said, “Daddy, I’m bored.” It’s the worst sentence a parent can hear, with the exception of, “I think I’m going to throw up”, of course.
I thought of all the ways I could start their summer off strong and rolled them out like a teaser video for a new blockbuster movie. “We’ll go to the playground,” I screamed with as much glee as I could. “We’ll get donuts for breakfast and McDonald’s for lunch,” I said as if they didn’t have that for dinner just the other night.
He kicked the ground a little bit, looked up with sorrow in his eyes and said, “That’s no fun.”
I thought about telling him about my summers. We didn’t go to any playgrounds on our summer breaks; we learned how to use a Ditch Witch so we could help our uncle run a new drainage line. We certainly didn’t have donuts for breakfast. There was no way that would keep us til dinner swinging a pickaxe in the garden all day.
We didn’t play any computer games, partly because there wasn’t a computer to play on, but also because our fingers were too sore from snapping peas.
Don’t get me wrong: we had plenty of fun. We played tag on hay bales and chased each other on four wheelers. We drank our body weight in hose water and ate more homemade ice cream than we had any right to. We heard wild stories from our uncles and chased after barges to get a fishing boat airborne.
Looking back I don’t remember spending much time being bored during the summers. There were always plenty of things to do and memories to make. If we got tired of one game we would make up another. We’d repeat that until it was popcorn time, then pass out right after Dick Van Dyke tripped over his ottoman a few times.
No, I don’t think we ever got bored back then. And if we did, we sure knew better than to tell anyone that might have a chore for us to do.