One time when I was bored out of my mind, I…
Well, this one’s quite hard. Not because my life is *that* full, but I think because my childhood was *that* dull. Relatively speaking.
We grew up in a household without a TV and didn’t spend masses of time with friends, in fact, were generally quite insular. I grew up with the solid lesson that if you’re bored, you find something to entertain yourself with (is this becoming a lost art?) and I got good at it.
And gradually as I grew up and the options diminished (although there’s still a good time to do things like tease your sister or play hide-and-seek as an adult, the opportunities become somewhat infrequent) I learned to lose myself inside my mind.
As an adult, I am grateful for this skill. I have refused to buy one of those internet-friendly phones because I think I’d quite easily lose myself in that instead, and actually, I quite relish the times when there’s absolutely nothing to do but wait and think and think and wait.
Times like that one where Husby left me in a car park in the dark and the rain for nearly two hours, having anticipated a 10 minute appointment. Utterly not his fault, and because he was IN the appointment, couldn’t let me know what was going on. So I sat (tried slightly not to worry), watched the rain and the gathering darkness and just looked.
I looked at the cars which were coming and going.
I looked at the designs and angles of the buildings I could see.
I looked at the way the colours changed as the darkness gathered and muted them.
I looked at the rain as it swirled and drifted and became effervescent under the light of a street lamp.
And I thought about things. My mind wandered all over the place, and though I was clocking back in every 10 minutes or so to see how much longer I’d waited, I wasn’t bored. I was lost in the depths of my own thoughts.
I’ll give deep and delicious thought to things like ‘How could I build a flying bicycle with a rotor blade and multi-gear attachment?’, ‘What would bacon and maple flavour candyfloss be like?’, ‘Who would I be if I was someone else?’, ‘What does God think when He hears my rambling thoughts?’, ‘What do you call the fuzzy shadow on the inner crescent of the moon?’*, ‘How many bricks can I count on that wall?’ and ‘What’s the largest Fibonacci number I can calculate?’
So I can only conclude that I no longer get bored out of my mind – I get bored into it, which is rather marvellous.
*It’s called the penumbra.
Yesterday (as you read this, but today as I write, because I’m doing a pre-emptive strike on Quick Takes as we’re imminently to be cut off from the internet in readiness to transfer the line to our new home) was World Down Syndrome Day and I wanted to share with you my favourite photo from the many which popped up on my facebook timeline. For once I’ll even provide a link back to the person who owns the image (I know many bloggers are really good about this, but I’m afraid I steal shamelessly from Google images and rarely credit anyone. I don’t edit out copyrights though. Usually.)
So quite apart from a link to explain why the T-shirt caption is SO awesome (to use modern vernacular the ‘Keep Calm and…’ thing is trending in the UK – I don’t know about elsewhere) I thought I’d link into a few of the blogs I follow which are by Mums who have children with Down Syndrome and share their experiences of (well, what every ‘Mommy blogger’ goes through with their kids) life with their gorgeous families.
I also want to suggest that if you haven’t heard of them, you take some time to learn about Reece’s Rainbow, who support the adoption to the US of unwanted children with disabilities from countries across the world, a large majority of whom are children who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. It’s a really important organisation for the families and children it serves, and provides a wonderful life for many children who would otherwise have been institutionalised for life in countries where there is little knowledge on the subject and fewer resources to support children born with this particular brand of chromosomality.
Talking of the wonderful scrumptiousness of children, I’d like to highlight a really important (and oft overlooked) role in their lives – their school governor.
I speak as one of those mystical breed.
Years ago I was
complaining explaining to my friends about why I was so discouraged by the British school system and the changes I’d like to see (a.k.a. my ‘why I’d prefer to home school’ soapbox rant) when one of them called me on it, and called me good.
Her: If it’s so important to you that the system does the best thing for the children, don’t just bitch about it and keep your own children home – get in there and change it for all the children. Be a governor or something.
Me: Err………yeah, well, course I would if there was something like that around.
A few days later I got an email from her; ‘I found a local school that needs a governor. Thought you might want to know’ and a link to their website.
Time to put my money where my mouth ran off at.
So I went for it, and despite the slight bemusement of the school at having an enquiry from someone with no children nor any links with the school, there’s pretty much a permanent dearth of school governors, so it was a shoo-in.
Since then I’ve sat in a lot of meetings, which have covered extreme dullness to the heights of hilarity, with a great bunch of people and though I haven’t managed to change the education system, I do have a better understanding of it and a deeper appreciation for those who make it work. I also have a fundamentally important role in making the school run, which is pretty cool.
The best thing is the Governor Visits though. To raise the profile of the governors with the staff and children (despite a photo-board, because the majority of governors are professionals, they aren’t a frequent presence in the school and to the teachers (whom they technically employ) they can take on a somewhat mythical quality) and to observe the ways in which the current foci in the school’s development plan are being instigated, we get invited to spend a couple of hours with a class and join in.
The children I saw today (4/5 year olds) were hilarious. They’re so blatant when gawking at visitors, refreshingly uninhibited (I was in the room less than five minutes before one small girl walked over and asked “What’s your name?” in spite of having just been introduced) and just delightful. I did puzzles with kids. I joined in as they wrote little story books about boats (their current topic). I spent playtime with children clamouring to hold my hand and join in with what I was doing. By the time I left, I had pretty much the whole class smiling and waving at me and yelling sweet little messages of parting as I went out of the door.
And there are always one or two characters who get under your skin and you wish you could see more of. For me it’s the slightly trouble-making boys. Ever since I started work with children at age 19, I always liked the little guys with BIG character and the awkward ones who struggled to fit in. There are a couple from today who (in spite of only having a couple of hours with them) I’m going to miss. I only hope I can go back to visit them again.
We’re going offline, and this time not because we’ve run out of electricity! Hopefully not for long (certainly long enough for me to have a deliciously long list of unread updates from all my favourite blogs) but for how long is not yet certain. We’re moving house tomorrow and aren’t nearly ready! Today will involve unreasonable amounts of ‘last minute boxing-things-up’ and moving them to the new place. I’m desperately hoping that by the time Saturday rolls around, we’ll only have the large furniture to move and some cleaning to do.
Hoping against hope.
And if I find where I packed my camera, I might just be able to provide a photo-tour of our new home. It would be lovely to preserve some images of it once it’s all organised and unpacked because (knowing us) I suspect it will be the first and last time it’s totally organised and under control.
Time for a brief interlude of funny. The jury’s out on this one amongst my friends. Of those I’ve shown, half adore it and think it’s hilarious and the other half just don’t get why I like it so much. What do you think?
Also, don’t you think the guy talking sounds like Steve Carell? Or is that just me?