Dwight Eisenhower said, “Busy soldiers are happy soldiers.” I read this quote in my early years with six children running around. Summer time always brought the I’m-bored attitude around to harass me as a busy mom.
And then we moved to Africa. No television, internet didn’t exist (thankfully!), no radio (except BBC!), no church, no youth group, no baseball team…No one was happy!
I’m a mom, I’m smarter than my kids, I am wiser, and I am the boss. So I pretended like I was General Eisenhower with a camp full of young, energetic bodies. We got busy.
The “what” was challenging. I had five boys. I have found that boys HATE sitting around. My teaching, homeschooling days were over for the summer, but my leading, guiding my children days were not. So I kept busy, keeping my children busy.
We went on hikes (no nature hikes allowed – too much like school). We built a brick patio. We cleaned long hallways full of stuff that no one had seen in years. We made weapons: scorpion catcher, cross bow and regular bow, play guns, sling shots, pea shooter, potato canon, bombs in coke bottles, bombs in cans, water bombs, carved knives, guns,and swords, rubber band shooter, spears, and shields. We created water activities (mud runs), bucking bronco, slides, and a gigantic 6-foot kite. There were basketball games, soccer games (no rules allowed – too much like school).
As the years passed (now Daddy’s skills needed) the boys built furniture, worked on cars, welded, dirt bike, etc. And it was not beneath me to make them do housework, yard work, and painting….
So now I am left with one sixteen year old girl. The above will not work for this “soldier.” But my theme is still true: busy soldiers are happy soldiers. Summer is almost over. We have cleaned, cooked, shopped, strolled, read books, watched movies. Today I presented her with an art project. Appropriate for her interests. She’s working on it now. I am anxious to see the results.
I am thinking about a how-to-be-a-lady course for her. I could use a review of that myself. Both of us have had to discipline ourselves to not spend excessive amounts of time on the internet.
Happy summer. Enjoy doing something different and creative with your children.
Fresh out of ideas? You were created in the image of God. No, lack of creativeness, is not an excuse, Sergeant Mom!