One of the things we've learned this summer is that boredom does (in fact) do the imagination good. Noah has really made some big steps in learning to play by himself, as well as learning to play with Mattias. It's neat to see Noah becoming more independent. Yesterday, he played with play dough for almost 45 minutes while I put Mattias to sleep and puttered around cleaning up. This level of attention is something that really didn't exist (at all) before this summer.
"This is the door and this is the ramp to get inside the house, Mommy," He tells me. "And only Mattias and I can go inside." I'm allowed to stand in the bushes. As a child, I also drew houses and castles and towns on the sidewalk with chalk. (I drew a lot of rocket ships, too. But he's not doing that yet.) I limited access to my creations from my brothers or my parents. Even then, finding my own space was really important to me.
To end here, to write that I remember doing these things, however, under represents the experience I am having as his mother lately. I also remember how it feels to be bored as a child, how it feels to be frustrated by things like my mother doing the dishes AGAIN. I mean, did she really HAVE to do that? Why couldn't we just go outside and play RIGHT NOW? It drove me crazy as a child to feel that I had so little control.
When Noah's frustration has peaked this summer, I've tried to find ways to make him feel in control. But the fact of the matter is, I simply can't follow his every whim. And at four years old, there are a lot of whims. That's a hard lesson to learn. I'm pretty sure I learned to deal with my frustration as a child by playing A LOT of make-believe. Noah is heading in the same direction.
I feel lucky to have these memories of my own childhood. I feel lucky to be able to sit next to Noah and talk with him about what he's feeling. I also feel lucky to be on the other side, living vicariously through Noah.