Quiet, unstructured time is not generally appreciated by children.

The long summer afternoons of my 1960s childhood were challenging to fill. To have hours without plans sent me scattering to find something to do. My father would be at work. My mother, often working from home, might have taken us to the town beach in the morning. My brothers and I would have played in and around the water, eaten our cream cheese and jelly sandwiches for lunch, then gone home to wash off the sand. And then the long afternoon would lay ahead of us. Unstructured.

The Rev. Lynne Silva-Breen, M.Div., M.A., LMFT, served for over 20 years as a Lutheran parish pastor. She’s currently a family therapist/pastoral counselor and can be contacted at inspiringchange.us. She is one of several area pastors who write for “Spiritual Reflections.”