“If all the year were playing holidays;
To sport would be as tedious as to work.”
~William Shakespeare Henry IV, Pt. I~
When my child is testing boundaries or inexplicably difficult, I ask myself whether his days are meaningful and productive. (And yes, lately, I’ve letting my youngest coast along, and it’s obvious in his aimless, dissatisfied attitude.
While thorns, thistles, and sweat are curses born of the fall, work itself is a blessing instituted in Eden’s unspoiled garden. Without meaningful occupation, we languish. Leisure to play, create, and day-dream must be balanced with challenging, purposeful industry.
I’m planning a summer bursting with opportunities for play and cloud-watching, yet those refreshing interludes are most meaningful against the background rhythm of work. I need to fold my youngest into light academics and a few new chores of his own. We have several family work projects planned, and it’s too easy to let him play on the sidelines, depriving him the pride of being part of our PrairieFrog team. He’s desperate for the fulfillment of a job well done and the satisfaction of being a fellow laborer.
School-work, instrument practice, chores, volunteer service or even athletic training serves as work within a child’s day–providing there’s accountability to motivate them once the novelty wears thin. True, rewarding, work has a measure of perseverance beyond the dabbling of play.
Rest is like punctuation–a break amid the fulfilling flow of routine. Just as a paragraph consisting solely of punctuation is meaningless grammatically, a life without content between the pauses is void of substance.
Enjoy summer’s special rhythm and change of pace, but keep work in the equation as well, lest leisure become tedious and recreation lose it’s power to re-create.
(Because Shakespeare’s birthday was April 23rd, this week’s Front Porch theme is Drama. The quote at the top of this article is from one of my favorite of Shakespearean plays. This piece was originally written and posted for my Taming the Chaos Article on the HSB Company Blog.)
~Domestic Chaos tamer and homeschool mom of 5, Dell writes about home, heart and hearth.~