For my son, boredom is basically non-existent. He can find entertainment out of poking me in the eye. But for a parent, boredom is a rare, higher state of being; in other words, it’s basically nirvana.
Even when he is asleep, the dishes are done, lunches are packed, and emails are checked, there’s still some kind of necessary “wind-down” time that has to take place which probably involves half-way watching American Idol, while being pretty confident that Jessica Sanchez has already won it anyway.
Then I realize, “Hey, I could be sleeping right now.”
Sleep is the go-to activity when there is ever actually extra time left in the day. But in rare instances, it can even be possible as a parent to enter the much elusive state of boredom.
Last week, I had to go somewhere after dinner for about an hour; during the time of night my wife and I generally watch an episode or two of Lost together on Netflix streaming. When I walked in, I saw my wife on the couch, playing on Facebook.
With a curious smile on her face, she said, “While you were gone, I got bored.”
That was a big deal. I can’t remember the last time she said that to me. Was it before our son was born? Before she was even pregnant? I don’t know, but it’s been long enough for it to be a foreign concept.
Boredom doesn’t really happen in our house. But I really wouldn’t mind it happening more often.
It makes me think of the concept of disposable income. You have more of it before you have kids. But then it shrinks to the point that if you any cash somehow floating up from the budget, it’s hard to spend it on something other than paying off other bills or adding it into savings.
Similarly, the state of boredom rarely gets to be consumed as is. Instead, it often translates as “I really should be doing something productive with this window of free time.”
I almost laugh at the concept of having of me having hobby, unless it’s something I do during my lunch break at work. Because hobbies require free time; time during which I would otherwise be bored.
So today, I wish the blessing of boredom upon all parents who read this.
Unless this article itself made you bored. In that case, I revoke my blessing.