Yakima Mom

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Archive for the tag “Unplugging”

My Fine Feathered Friends

I can’t say for sure why my new neighbors make me so happy, but they do.

Well dear, what do you think?

Get me a stick, will you?

Thank you.

I think I like it!

And it’s conveniently located right next to a restaurant!

The neighbors are a little flamboyant, seem to be nice enough.

We’ll take it!


Ah, Youth

As I returned from a quick 3 miler this evening, I got caught in a downpour. In an area that averages about 6 inches of rain a year, I found the deluge rather refreshing, and reminiscent of my youth, growing up outside of Seattle.

I did hustle home though, after becoming thoroughly drenched. As I approached my house, from about a half mile off, I could see two bodies moving across the road, presumably to get the mail from the box. I watched, as the figures paused, then twirled and stomped. They shook their wet heads at one another and looked to the sky. I quickly deduced it was the neighbor girl and a friend, dancing in the rain.

How refreshing it was to see a couple of 14 year old high school students acting their age. In a world of “hurry up” everything, in a society where padded bikinis are sold in the children’s section, it was a treasure to see two girls being silly and playing in the rain.

Over the weekend, I headed off to bed while my own daughter, age 13, and her friend, stayed up to watch Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. Not Johnny Depp’s new one, but the old, manually animated version. Amongst the giggling and text messages and digital pictures they took of one another, they followed the movie, and I believe, thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

In this hurry up world, it’s important that kids still get the opportunities to be kids. It’s crucial that we parents allow (and encourage) our big kids to do kid things… To be silly, and laugh, and make forts with chairs and blankets, to make messes in the kitchen as they “invent new recipes,” to stomp in puddles and get wet on an unexpected rainy day.

Thank you, Life, for the unexpected reminders.

Unplug for the Summer

With all the angst I experience watching my youngest shoot people on his T-rated xbox games (it’s just a game, Mom. Sheesh!), I had this ridiculous idea: what if we went electronic free for the summer?

Not electricity free… we could still watch the four crappy stations that we get sporadically on the television. We could still use the lights and hairdryers and such. But what if we gave up on the xbox and World of Warcraft and posting and Twittering? What if we quit texting inane conversations (“So he’s like, “What did she say he said?” “So he goes, “OMG Really?!” “That’s so like stupid LOL.” “JK :-P”), and saved texting for truly important stuff (“movie is dun. pick me up”).

Imagine the time we would have to do fun stuff together! We could go places like the hands on art shop. We could walk the dogs (all four of them) together. We could play board games and work in the yard, and oh yeah… spend lots of time at the neighbor’s pool.

We could visit the library then come home and pile onto the hammock to read. We could create new recipes. We might even have big, family-style sit down breakfasts featuring pancakes and hash browns and sausage. It would be okay to start the day with such a big meal, because we’d have so much more time to go outside and play and work off those calories!

Unplug for the Summer could go viral! I could post it, and if the right back-to-nature, organic, recycling parents spread the word, we could have a nation of kids and parents playing in their yards and hiking nature trails and sitting on curbs licking ice cream cone drips from their wrists.

But right there lies the rub. I could post it. Clearly, the biggest issue in this great idea of mine is that I too would have to unplug… from facebook, twitter and reading blogs. And really, that’s not gonna happen.

I gave up facebooking and twittering for Lent this past spring. I missed my friends. I got behind on current events (Okay, yeah, I’m usually behind on current events, but I got even behinder). I began stretching the rules—Well, I’ll just read a few updates and won’t comment on anything, I reasoned. My 16 year old son gave up social media and the entire internet (except for homework research) and did a much better job than I did.

We won’t be unplugging for the summer at our house. Instead, I think we’ll try to enforce the actual screen time limits that often get mentioned, but never get followed. Jack will get his daily xbox hour. He’ll have an additional hour somewhere… either on the TV or computer. Michael, who is 16, working a part time job and playing football daily, can set his own limits if they are reasonable, though he cannot bring friends to dinner via texting. If he wants to visit them at dinner time, he can just invite them to come eat with us.

Kennedy, who has her own computer (purchased with her own money), tends to lie in her room watching reruns A LOT. We’ll have to enforce some kind of time limit for that, but as with most 13 year old girls, social time will pretty much override the importance of anything else, so I just need to get her to someone’s house.

So if you drive by the house this summer, and notice The Judge and I working in the yard sans kids, rest assured, they are safe in the house, each plugged in to something. Honk your horn and give me a wave, and I’ll send you a tweet when I’m finished.

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