It’s spring break here at The House of Chaos, and I just have to laugh. But not a real laugh. A “please, for the love of all things, this winter has to end before my mind breaks” kind of laugh. Chicago has been “enjoying” a cold spring; yesterday it was finally sunny and <gasp> in the ’40s. I say this week has brought neither spring nor a break, and feel rather cheated on both fronts.
What this week has brought, however, is a renewed appreciation for my sons’ creativity. When the break began, we had to set down some ground rules. Our homeschooled son still had a class mid-week and work to do, his younger brother wasn’t likely to have many playdates because his friends were all on vacation, and I had to work every day. On top of all that, we put a strict limit on screen time. Because we’re mean parents, that’s why. Oh, and because too much of the glowing boxes turns my sweet children into mutant zombie hellhounds. None too pleasant, that.
The boys have stepped up. Books are being read, Snap Circuits are being built and rebuilt and hacked, and the creativity is out in full force. On Wednesday our oldest designed, built, and developed a Role Playing Game out of Legos. It involved a D20 die, rolling to advance the story line, and a quest for budder (yes, butter, but with a D, and it’s supposed to be gold…or something). It was well thought out, detailed, and utterly fantastic. He’s writing everything down and keeping detailed notes on the game; turns out it can be used as part of the new Game Design merit badge with Boy Scouts.
I love how the creativity flows without the distraction of screens…or me. If I’m around, they’re suddenly bored. But if I’m unavailable, lo and behold they not only entertain themselves and each other but create for the joy of it. (And before someone starts railing at me for leaving them home alone, my husband works from home and they know better than to interrupt him for anything less than blood/bone/vomit/fire.) I think I need to get myself out of the equation a bit more in the future.
Because creativity is best developed when an antidote to boredom.