I’m glad to write my maiden article when summer is just starting to simmer outside our door. School will be out in a few weeks and soon my two kids will start uttering the words that every mother dread to hear…”Mom, I’m bored“. But before I go to a lengthy narration about how we resolve “boredom” issues at home, let me just paint a picture of our family as an introduction to this column.
We are a rather stereotypical Filipino family, father works in the office, mother stays at home (I’m a work-from-home writer), and we are blessed with two children – a son who is nine, and a daughter who is six. Each one in our family is his or her own character. If there’s anything common among us, that would be our love for adventure. Malls bore us and we seldom go to one except to dine on special occasions or to buy necessities.
My husband and I agreed even before the kids came that we will keep them away from the lure of materialism. They get toys on limited occasions only and most of the time, they have to work hard for it. We teach them that excitement and fulfillment cannot be had by material things alone. For this reason, we try to introduce them to creative fun and love for the great outdoors. This proves to be a challenge since kids nowadays are surrounded by all sorts of distractions such as TV, computers, techie toys and gadgets.
Our desire as parents to instill a sense of creativity and adventure among our kids stems out of my own experience as a child. I grew up in a very humble lifestyle. Without the luxury of store-bought toys, I and my three siblings would amuse ourselves with our own hand-made toys, from cardboard paper dolls to tin can telephones. During early evenings, we would do shadow theater using a lamp and a blanket or we would be out in the garden counting fireflies. Our backyard was our workshop where crazy ideas come to life. Long before I opened my first science book, I already knew that butterflies were once caterpillars, and then cocoons, and then beautiful winged creatures. I witnessed the change right before my eyes. The vast farmland surrounding our house was our world of discoveries. I now realized that for a child, one discovery is equal to one scraped knee.
Moving in the city, I soon realized that it’s such a pity that my kids won’t be experiencing the same life I experienced as a child. I thanked God for the comfort that city life offers, however, I seemed to have left a part of me that I will not be able to impart to my kids. But this encouraged me and my husband to try every chance we get to get away even for a while and introduce them to outdoor fun, discovering new things, and love for travel.
And so, I begin this column with an invitation to all parents, and parents-to-be, to join me and my family as we share with you our little steps towards life’s greatest adventures. Journey with us, as we learn new things and uncover new places. Laugh with us, as we find little joys and fulfillment in sharing with you our daily discoveries.