We were at a swim meet recently. My youngest son is nine and has joined the team just this year. We are still learning the ropes and figuring out what it looks like to participate in events. One thing we have learned is that they start ungodly early and are usually in locations that are at least an hour away from home. There is a fair amount of waiting usually while we are squeezed in bleachers with no regards to personal space.
On this particular morning warm ups had ended and there really wasn't anything to do for about an hour and a half. I had tucked my iPad into my bag since we all know that that's instant entertainment for boredom. I saw Owen wandering the poolside and fingered the iPad in my bag. I almost pulled it out and called him over but I thought I would give him a second to see what he would do.
I don't know why I was surprised then when I saw him walk past pods of his peers wielding handheld devices and took it on himself to start swimming laps. I actually watched him the way a scientific researcher would watch their latest animal subject. I was enthralled. He bounced between a few different activities, wandering being one of them, but he found something to do. He people watched, he ate some snacks from his bag and he swam laps. He found something to do on his own that didn't involve a screen.
For years I've been trying to instill in my children the value of finding something to do that isn't electronic. I limit their electronic usage and hope that through the years they have gotten some ideas of things to do that don't involve a screen.
It's those moments when you can see evidence of a parenting win. I did a little secret high five to myself. Have you recently had a parenting win? I would love to celebrate it with you