Dear older daughter,
I know you’re bored. And I know you think it’s my fault because I have nothing for you to do.
I will take partial responsibility for your boredom. Because, for the first part of the summer, you never got to sit still. You were moving and grooving from camp to swim practice to swim meet to camp. No time to sit down.
And then all of that came to a sudden stop, and you are left with seemingly endless downtime.
You took that well for a few days, and then BOREDOM struck. Which is where we are now, at the end of week two of downtime.
I know it seems like all your neighborhood friends have disappeared for the summer, or they’ve gotten used to you not being around. I know your sister is gone at day camp during the day, and that’s good, but she’s also a built in friend. I know you miss her more than you wish.
I know you’re not very good at downtime, and that is my fault. We run and gun for weeks, and then BOOM, nothing. I’m sorry I can’t take you to the pool as much as I would like, because work for me is in the afternoon, which is the time to go to the pool.
So, you’re BORED. I know daddy and I both laugh when you say that, because we both grew up outside of small towns in the country, without the electronics of today. But I feel a little bad, even at that laughter. Because we had room to run. I could ride my bike on country roads to my friends’ houses, or hang in our barn, or head down to the little bit of creek (really, the run off of irrigation ditches that sometimes had water) and play in the shade. We could jump on our trampoline, or ride our bikes into town for the pool or the park.
I think Daddy’s life was much the same.
Your world is in town, and in a neighborhood, and much smaller, although there should be stuff to do. I know you could ride your bike to the pool, I KNOW you could do it, but there’s no direct route and I don’t like that you have to ride on the shoulder of a VERY busy road. I know you ride her bike to the Kroger nearby, but that isn’t all that exciting, and you only have so much money.
I love that you’re reading up a storm. I love that every time I decide to turn off your electronics, I come upon you reading quietly. Even if your choices aren’t on my ‘suggested reading’ list, I like that you’re reading.
But I know you’re bored. I really wish that all of your activities could have been spread out a bit better. You’re so busy at the front end of summer, and then, by the tail end, you’re is a bit bewildered by the lack of activity. And it’s getting to the tail end.
Today is July 24th. Next week is the last week of day camp for your sister. Then we’re off for a week of family vaca in the Pocono Mountains. And then, right after that, we are back in time for school to start. On August 12th.
So, for now, I’m going to let you be bored. Because some of the greatest thoughts in humanity happen during moments of pure boredom. It’s the time when your mind can wander and imagination kicks in. Sometimes all that creativity can lead to trouble, but sometimes it leads to pure genius.
So, sorry for the disservice I created by filling your early summer with activities and action. It’s now time for you to create your own fun for a couple of weeks. Go read some books, draw some pictures, create adventures. Ride your bike to the field down the way, and daydream a bit. Imagine what kids are doing in Berlin, or China, or Colorado. Think about seventh grade, and what that’ll look like. Take a nap under a tree.
Do it now. Because summer will be over soon, and there will never be another summer where you’re 12.
This is it, baby girl. It’s your turn to turn your boredom around. I did my job earlier this summer in getting you to all those other activities. Now it’s up to you.
Time to make your own fun.
Okay, here’s my review of Those Girls by Chevy Stevens.
The three Campbell sisters, Jess, Courtney, and Dani, have a hard life as teens, but it’s theirs. After their mother died, they live on a farm, raising themselves as their father leaves for weeks on end to work on oil rigs.
But there are troubles: dad likes to drink, Courtney likes to party. When he returns from the oil rig to find that his Courtney has been carrying on with a married man, trouble ensues. The girls are forced to flee their small Canadian town in hopes of making it in Vancouver.
When their pickup breaks down in another small town, they are offered help by two young men, but the help is just more trouble. Eventually the girls make it to Vancouver, but not with a heap of trouble and memories following them.
Flash forward about 15 years. The girls have made a life, even if it wasn’t all they hoped it would be. With new names, the three have forged ahead, although the past still haunts them. Courtney most of all. When Courtney goes missing, Dani’s daughter goes in search of her aunt, only to be drawn into the same trouble.
When the girls are forced to confront their past, will they come out of intact, orr will their carefully constructed life fall apart?
Those Girls is a mediocre psychological thriller, with predictable high and lows. The characters are pretty shallow, and their motives are one dimensional, if very dramatic.
This would be a fine read for a summer read. Great if you don’t want to get bogged down in a lot of details and a lot of thinking.
I give it 2.5 stars.