Our 100th Post! ‘The Adventure List’ Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico

*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here.  Enjoy!

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Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn, and…searching in his Momma Mia’s purse for loose change; but he did not like to be bored.  Here is his story:

The day his father told him that he could be bored or he could not be bored, that was the day that Baby Frederico decided to never be bored again. It was a challenge to “choose his own adventure” and so Baby Frederico accepted the challenge! He began a list of great boredom-blasting ideas that would soon change his life forever.  At the top of his paper, he wrote the best title ever: “Baby Frederico’s Crazy, Amazing, Shocking, No-Way, Absolutely-Kind-Of-Certainly Possible, Longest, Funniest, Strangest, Coolest Adventure List Ever!” It included:

1.  Climb a mountain made of marshmallows and peanut butter

2.  swim through orange jello

3.  Climb a cedar tree

4.  throw the fastest baseball pitch ever

5.  jump over a house

6.  slide down a snowy hill

7.  ride a bike through mud

8.  build the longest Hot Wheels racetrack ever made

9.  search for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster

10.  befriend a large dog

11.  build a bookcase

12.  make a movie

13.  play the saxophone

14.  play the cello

15.  play the piano

16. play the guitar

17.  play the clarinet

18. dunk a basketball

19. dunk an Oreo cookie

20. ride a Parachute

21. explore the inside of a piano

22.  search for mysterious artifacts in a forest

23.  read a 500-page book

24.  write an adventure story

25. and anything else I can think of…

There.  His list was complete for now and he would get started on the first one the very moment his old friend the boredom bug decided to bite.

He said to himself, “Adventures!  Here I come…”

‘Choose your Adventure’ Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico

*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here.  Enjoy!

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Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn, and…the bowl of candy that sets on top of the refrigerator after Trick-or-Treating; but he did not like to be bored.  Here is his story:

Baby Frederico was bored.  How bored was he?  He was so bored that cleaned out his closet.  He retied all of his shoelaces. He washed AND dried every single one of his Hot Wheels.  He rebuilt his Star Wars Lego Death Star model twice.  He re-did the paperclip chain that had been hanging on the back of his bedroom door since the 1st grade.  He counted every penny in the entire house (including the handfuls that were overflowing from his dad’s billfold drawer).  He even tried to catch the dust particles that floated through the rays of sunlight that streamed across his bedroom floor.

Baby Frederico was bored.  He wondered to himself why everyone else seemed to have such cool things to do.  From doing the most awesome skateboard moves to spelunking in caves near the ocean, riding in a sailboat through uncharted waters, climbing a really big mountain (or even a little hill), finding a treasure map and the treasure full of gold coins that it leads to, becoming a rich and famous movie star or inventing a way to get all your homework done in five minutes – why was it that everyone else had all the adventure while he had to suffer from all the boredom?

Papá Frita was walking past the door to his bedroom when he noticed that familiar look of boredom in Baby Frederico’s eye.

“What’s up?”  he asked.

Baby Frederico grumped, “I’m bored, bored, bored, bored, bored.  Why does everyone else seem to have all the fun and get to do amazing things and win races and have a million friends and tell the best jokes and climb mountains every day and find lost gold mines while I get to sit here and catch dust particles in my bedroom?”

“What a great question mi hijo,”  Papá Frita said.  “I don’t know anyone who does all of those things every day but I do know people who do some of those things sometimes.  I wonder what would happen if you chose to not be bored?”

With that, Papá Frita left the room and Baby Frederico was left to think.  His father loved to do that – answer Baby Frederico’s question with another question – and it always got Baby Frederico thinking.

Maybe the reason he was bored was because he was choosing to be bored. Maybe it was because he WASN’T doing anything – well, anything that mattered to him.  Maybe feeling bored is just a way for you to realize that you need to choose your own adventure.

Wait. Did he just think that up himself – choose your own adventure?

And that is when “The Adventure List” was born…

 

 

 

 

 

Bored = Imagination

In a recent Time Magazine interview the creator of the wildly popular online game Minecraft, Markus Persson, talked about how “his lack of artistic ability turned into one of the game’s defining traits, ‘A tree doesn’t look like a tree, but you know it’s a tree. It makes it feel more real, because a larger part of it takes place in your imagination.’ ” I can’t tell you how many times I heard that word ‘imagination’ or how many times I was told to “use your imagination” when I was growing up; and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my own daughters to “use your imagination.”

Eric books blog

I was just one of those kids who loved to complain about there being nothing to do – and I grew up on 400 acres of farm and wheat land, which included two old creepy houses (with cellars!) that had been abandoned decades before I came along; there was a creek that wound its way through the farm and a couple of old, rusty windmills and big, red wooden barns near my grandparent’s farmhouse. There was not one thing about this place that could really be described as ‘boring.’ Not one thing but me…

Yet my grandmother, who lived not far from us on the other side of the farm, loved to here me say that I was ‘bored.’ No sooner had I proclaimed that magic word than she would spring into action and send me off on outdoor adventures to gather this or that somewhere among those 400 acres and then return to her home later that day with what I had found; and then to have her ask me to help her make these amazing mini cherry cheesecakes, play games like Payday or Concentration, or rearrange her bookshelves and the long row of cabinets beneath them.

Ah, those cabinets beneath the bookshelves. I loved them, these little hidden spaces behind closed doors, stacked completely to the brim with books of all kinds and shapes and sizes. It was a space so full of books that you had to shut the door quickly to keep them from spilling out onto the living room floor. Honestly, it was amazing and it was a treasure to me. There were all kinds of books in there, but the ones that stand out in my mind today are mostly children’s books from my dad’s childhood and comic books and baseball cards used as bookmarks and handwritten notes scrawled inside the book covers from people I had never heard of or only heard about. I would lose myself in these cabinets and the boredom would lose itself there, too.

I’m grateful for my grandmother and that old farm and the books that she drew me into and taught me to cherish simply because she cherished them and had no intentions of ever having too many or relegating even one to be put away in a box or attic somewhere. Though she now lives in a house in the city, she still has most of those books in nearly every room of it…and I still get lost in the shelves and their cabinets when I visit her, some 30 years later.

My 80-year old grandmother and the 20 or 30-year old creator of Minecraft have something in common – they understand the value of imagination. And imagination often comes because of good old-fashioned boredom. Both are valuable for us all. So next time your kids tell you they’re bored, applaud them and tell them what my grandma told me – “use your imagination” – then smile and walk away. 30 years later, they will be glad you did.