I have 5 kids. And they are (as most kids of 2014) experts on the use of computers, iPads, mobile phones, Playstation, Nintendo, Wii etc. When I tell them those things didn´t even exist when I grew up, they just look like me like I am an alien. Or like: What species dinosaur are you really?! And the silence lasts for a long time while they stare, trying to soak in this unbelievable information.
Then they ask in a tone of wonder: "That must have been SO boring! What did you do then?!" I list up playing Cowboy and Indian in the forest, building wooden cabins high up in the trees, being a private detective in our club of three. The club was called TTD - the three detectives (Yap! Very creative).
I must admit, I fail to mention to my curious five that I climbed steep hillsides with a rope tied loosely around the smallest tree on the top, climbing on top of the tunnel top cited over a busy road, hanging our feet down looking down at the cars, biking long distances where we didn´t always know where we were, going to a lake a far bit away and playing with a piece we used as a raft(and not a good one at that), collecting the powder from used rockets after New Years Eve, lighting it (our friends foot caught fire and he was told never to play with us again) and just experiencing life outside for both good and bad.
But I can´t remember being bored a lot. And every Sunday, my dad used to take us for Sunday trips, either to a scenic place or an historic place. And the summers of my teenage-youth were used at a wee cabin in the mountains without power and water, looking after cows and my siblings together with my mum, climbing mountains, swimming in the river, riding a horse and just enjoying the simplicity of life and mother nature. There was no way for anyone to reach me. Not even by paper mail. Unthinkable for most teenagers in the year of 2014...
So, I want my kids to experience more of that. I told the kids we would go for a trip to a nearby city and see the fortress from 1666, there. The questions came bouncing back: Do I have to come? Why should we do that? What on earth are we going to do there?!
I answered that we would look at the fortress and the surroundings. "That is boring!"
I tried replying "Why? You look at the TV all the time. We will be doing the same thing, looking, only outdoors"
My 5 year old started crying "I don´t want to just look at some place! It is booooring!"
Oh, well. No matter. We rounded them up and got them in the car. Half an hour later we were there. And as we walked around the grounds, my 9-year old asked if we could come back. And my 5-year old admitted that she had been wrong in assuming to just look would be boring. "But I didn´t know there would be such good views, mum!" And my three oldest girls found their own ways around and seemed to be taking in the scenery in not such a boring way. Laughing and talking along the way. None of them asked if we could leave soon. Although my 5-year old did get tired at the end. So we lay down in the grass and talked and looked at the blue skies as the rest finished their walk around the grounds. It was a good day. And it was not boring for any of us.