When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sticking to it (or how to use up all of your mom's Scotch tape)

Parents can invest a lot of time, energy, and money into ensuring their children aren't bored over the long weeks of summer holidays. Sometimes, despite summer camp sessions, family vacations, interesting outings, and plans with friends, kids can still find an opportunity to complain (to their parents' dismay), "But there's NOTHING to do!!". It is in precisely these times that a good ol' roll of Scotch tape comes in handy. I learned yesterday that the cost of a spool and a half of the sticky stuff, plus just a little help from me, equals one entire day of creative fun.

Noah has been talking for months about building a zipline from the roof of our house to the giant willow tree at the back of our yard. (And because I don't doubt his ability to actually accomplish this feat somehow, I am a little hesitant about the fact that he's old enough now to be left home alone for short periods of time!) Anyway, talk of the zipline resurfaced at the breakfast table yesterday, and before I knew it, the boys had dashed off to the family room and were pulling out craft supplies and empty cardboard boxes from storage in earnest. What resulted was a highly involved process of cutting, tying, and lots of taping, along with planning, measuring, hypothesizing, and trial runs. The boys managed not only to build a working model of a zipline complete with transport vehicle for moving Lego people from the top of our stairs to the front door (with padding at the bottom to prevent injury), but also a rock-climbing wall, a bouncy castle, and a bowling lane (Will's imaginative creations), and a carefully designed and well-tested ramp for daredevil dinky car runs.

(You can see clearly now where all of my Scotch tape went.)

With the exception of an hour or two for swimming and bike rides, and a couple of meals, the boys worked diligently and happily on this project all day! It was so nice to see them so engaged together in a cooperative project of their own devising.

I may not have had any Scotch tape left this morning when I needed to wrap some gifts for Matt's upcoming 40th birthday, and I may have had to try to avoid injuring myself on the zipline string stretched down our stairwell (because the boys begged me to PLEASE not make them take it all down yet when it was time for bed last night). These minor inconveniences didn't bother me, though -- they were well worth the boys' smiles and sense of accomplishment as they basked in the glow of their good day's work.

On a side note, I plan to start buying Scotch tape in bulk.

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