“I’m BORED,” the seven year old boy wails loudly. His companions look at him, for a moment, sigh, roll their eyes, go back to what they are doing. Nuff, always bored when something isn’t happening. Sighs heard again.
“Can’t we do SOMETHING?” he demands. Bonnie, ever the nurturing, kind soul, hears and sees him, knowing he needs to do something–but what? It is a large task to keep the hands and mind of this youngster busy so they won’t be left to their own devices. That would create havoc and chaos–and yes, he would no longer be bored, but no one is quite up to setting things right again that he will undoubtedly upend.
“You know, there are lots of weeds to be pulled,” she offers.
“WEEDS!” he shouts with a glare. “I’ve pulled weeds three days now and I want something different to do!”
“How about a nice long walk? Or maybe a trip to the library? You could whip through some animal books there in the children’s section. Who knows? A kind of adventure, right?”
“You have to be quiet in a library,” he counters with disgust.
“Being noisy doesn’t stop boredom, Nuff. But I get your point. So how about a walk? Seeing how many crows follow you? How many animals there are that come across your path? How about…”
His eyes light up. “And garbage trucks? The huge ones that have arms to pick up the cans? and maybe cop cars all around a house or something cool, like that? You know, sirens, and cars and guns and…”
“Whoa! Wait a minute! That would mean people are in trouble, or hurt or…”
“Yeah! And I could be the hero and run in and save them! And then everybody would be excited to see a kid who was so brave and such a warrior and…”
“Remember when we saw a bunch of police cars and you wanted to get in there and mama told you you could get killed and make things worse and kept you from going in to see what was happening?”
“Well, yeah, I guess…but I’d rather get killed in a shoot out than pulling weeds!” he retorts with disgust.
Bonnie sighs. She looks around, searching for something to attract all that pent up energy he carries. One of her other charges, an older boy, offers, “I hear you, buddy. It sucks. Know what I do?”
Nuff shifts his attention to look at the boy. He shakes his head no and the boy smiles and says, “I paint. I get all my paints, even the ones I don’t care if I use or not, take them outside to the patio, and man! Do I have fun! I just close my eyes, see a picture in my head and then try to make it come out on the board! It is sooooo cool and I can change my mind, or make it dark or light, or real or like another world or whatever I want. ‘Course you gotta be able to see pictures in your head and I dunno if you’re old enough to do that, so maybe it wouldn’t work for you.”
Bonnie smiles quietly. The older boy has baited Nuff and it is working. Nuff stands, tall and straight, abruptly, feet planted apart, hands on hips, and declares, “I CAN DO IT! I CAN SEE PICTURES IN MY HEAD! I KNOW I CAN DO IT!”
“Well, put your money where your mouth is, bub! Let me see you do it. Come on–let’s get the stuff together and go out to the patio. But if you mess up my paints…” the older boy warns.
“I can do it. And I promise I won’t mess up your paints, or brushes, or none of it. Come on! I’ll prove it!” Nuff says, and Bonnie throws a grateful look at the older boy as he winks at her and the adventure begins.
“Whew!” she thinks. Another ‘I’m bored’ disaster averted. For NOW, anyway.