A week or so ago we were running behind on our way to summer camp and realized as we were backing out of the driveway that Jack had left his iPad in the house. We didn’t have time to go back and get it, so there was an instant sigh from the back seat followed by, “What am I going to do on the way to day camp?” Now, despite the fact that we are just 10 tiny minutes from camp, my sweet boy was flustered. I realized at that minute that my kid has no idea how to be bored.
See when we were kids, we didn’t have the instant-on variety of entertainment kids have today. There were no iPads to keep us occupied in waiting rooms, cars, and restaurants. We didn’t have cartoons on-demand whenever we wanted. We had to wait until Saturday morning to watch them with a bowl of cereal. We didn’t have the luxury of being able to Google some of many of life’s greatest questions; we had to pull out the encyclopedias.
We had no choice but to be bored. And we had to fill the empty space with our imagination. We had to get creative to occupy ourselves on road trips and vacations. Having idle time was just an opportunity to learn about ourselves by using our imaginations to escape that boredom. I feel like an opportunity to be creative helps us find the things we like and enjoy – writing, creating stories, going on adventures.
Later that week, we walked into a restaurant to find several tables around us that had kids with their faces buried in tablets – some playing games, others watching cartoons. Again, I realized, we’re raising kids who lack the capacity to be idle – to have absolutely nothing to do.
I’ll be the first to admit that my kid doesn’t understand the idea of being bored. He’s living in this generation where things are constantly at our fingertips and he hasn’t developed the skill to fill down time with his own brain. Do I take responsibility for that? Absolutely. I’m not perfect. But I’m working hard to change that. Sometimes that phrase, “I’m bored” makes me feeling like I’m a bad parent, like I’m not doing something I should be doing. I feel pressured to fill that void for my kid. But the truth is, I feel like we’re doing our kids a disservice by not forcing them to use their ol’ nogggins. Some of the greatest adventures I ever took were right in the backseat of my parent’s car on the way to visit my grandparents. I was climbing mountains and diving deep oceans, exploring outer space, and trekking vast glaciers all from the rural roads of Alabama.
Now, let’s talk about these Lemon Crumble Bars… Never have 5 ingredients tasted so delicious. I’m for real. If you love the flavor of lemon icebox pie, you’re going to absolutely want to try these out. They’re also ridiculously easy. If you can stir a few ingredients together, you can absolutely make these. My family just loved these things. And I did, too! Did I mention how easy they are to make? Seriously, only 5 ingredients. 🙂
Lemon Crumble Bars
- 1 (15.25-ounce) box yellow/butter cake mix
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup butter melted
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 2 to 3 lemons
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oats, and butter. Stir until well combined. Pour about half of the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and press it evenly. Bake for 20 minutes.
- While it bakes, combine the lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk in a small bowl. Stir until thickened.
- Once the crust has been cooked, pour the lemon mixture over it and spread evenly. Crumble the remaining cake mix mixture evenly over the lemon mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until just starting to brown. Cool completely before slicing. Store in the refrigerator.
* If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. The values do not include optional ingredients or when ingredients are added to taste. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.