At every conference I go to, and lots of times in between, I have parents of young children ask, anxiously, "is it really okay that my child wants to do __________ ALLLL day??"
I usually say - yes. Then, not so flippantly, I ask them to be realistic. Are they really doing that thing 24 hours? Are they eating? Are they going to the bathroom? A lot of times the kid actually has a lot of other activities - karate, park days, music, play dates, whatever. What the parent really means is "my kid wants to do _______ all of the hours that we are home and they are not sleeping." That sounds a lot different than "ALLLL day." For one, it makes the parent stop being catastrophic When they are more specific in their language, they can't let themselves get so caught up in hyperbolic distress.
Even with that new-found specificity and reality, the number of hours their child wants to do one thing still bothers parents. It's funny, too - because no one ever says "my child wants to play soccer 5 hours a day, is that a problem?" or "My child wants to read and read all day and not do anything else, will they grow up okay?" They are only ever worried about tv and video games. But that's another fifteen blog posts.
Well. Here I am. Living proof of an unschooled child who really did spent hours and hours and hours per day passionately involved with some very sedentary activities, often at the exclusion of other fun activities - and I am jeeesst fine. As a 28 year old married woman with a career, and you know, laundry to do, I still manage to spend many, many hours doing exactly what I want.
Today, for example - I didn't need to leave the house. Not once. We had enough groceries, no park patron knocked on our door needing help. I have the 4th Game of Thrones book downloaded on audible.com and The Cabin in the Woods is new on Netflix. I had a late night last night, so I woke up around 11am, reached for my crocheting (which is next to my bed), and started on a vest idea I'd had last night. At about 2pm I decided to do some laundry, because I have committed to doing one household chore a day this month. I crocheted some more, sitting on the couch in the office listening to my headphones while my husband played his computer games a few feet away, and our dog split the difference between us sprawled out on the floor.
I washed the dishes. I made green smoothies. I made coffee for my husband. I warmed up some leftovers for myself and ate them. I made breakfast for dinner for my husband. Oh, and I took a shower. I crocheted the rest of the day. It is now 8:30pm, which means I probably crocheted about 8 hours total. While I was doing that, I watched a movie on Netflix, and many episodes of The Office. I had facebook open and talked to a few people. I emailed my resume to a private practice I might want to work with, rescheduled an appointment, looked into a music therapy workshop I want to attend, fed the dog, and checked on my tomato plant. I jumped up happily to get things my husband asked for, and he brought me things I asked for when he got up.
So I guess I want to point out a few things -- one, that as an adult, I am able to decide when I can and want to spend the majority of my day doing one thing. I can weigh my priorities and decide what I want to get accomplished. Multiple times today I thought "do I want to do something else right now?" Sometimes I did. But mostly I didn't. Nobody and no things were harmed by my 8 hour crochet day. I did not blow off appointments or neglect anything important.
Secondly - I got a lot out of my fiber-ific day. I had a lot of ideas spinning around in my head, and I had the chance to get some of them out in the world. I spent today creating larger items than I usually do, and I am trying to make up my own patterns. I had many really pleasant interactions with my husband. I have a lot going on, what with trying to start my own practice and looking at my upcoming week it's going to be a busy one, where I will be out of the house a lot. This was a good day for me to appreciate my house, my husband, my yarn, and time without interruption. After today, I'm looking forward to the upcoming week. It was a good and refreshing day.
I love to crochet. I love it. I would be upset if a family member tried to make me do less than what I wanted to do. I would not feel respected. I would not be able to express myself the way I want, or process the way I process. After I finish typing this, I am going back to my crocheting. Some weeks I have a lot of days like today. Others, not so many, or different things.
The point is - I learned all of this about myself when I was younger because my parents did not think "she's spent too many hours obsessed with yarn. It's time to make her stop and do something else now."
So here I am today - about a quarter of the way through a granny square vest. I'm improvising the pattern as I go.
And it has been a delightful day.