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Disconnect to reconnect

January 11, 2011

In a half hour, we’re going dark.

All computers will be powered down. Ditto all iPods and cell phones. The TV. The Wii. The kids’ intensive online search for the right combination of chicks to mail away for in March will come to a screeching halt, for one evening, and we will all rediscover what it means to be an unplugged family. Just as we all were, once upon a time.

It’s hard to recall that when Soren was born, nearly 17 years ago, we had only a cable-free TV that we kept in the closet and brought out only when we rented a movie (on VHS). No cell phone. No computer. Had never even heard of an iPod. In fact, I’d never been online. That didn’t happen until Mirabai was a baby–in 1997. I’ll never forget the day I upgraded my first computer (and its 4 mbs of RAM) to something with much more speed (maybe 100 mb?). It even had a modem. I distinctly recall plugging my CPU into the phone line and watching the world suddenly expand.

There were other people out there. Other mothers, wrapped as thickly as I was in the raw and isolating experience of parenting. I found parenting forums, started talking to faceless people. Could ask and answer parenting questions….or just vent.

In the fraction of a second it took to connect to the internet, I was instantly not alone anymore.

Since then, I have rapidly become too connected. I get emails anywhere I am, as long as I bring my Droid. The kids pass their school-free days staring at some screen or another. They watch instant movies and play various games on their iPods and the Wii (Rabbids Go Home is Gray’s new fave). And lately, they do exhaustive chicken research on their laptops.

Mira is right this very second swooning over a photo of a tiny black duckling on a hatchery website. “OOOHHH!! I want a DUCK! It’s only FOUR LIBS!”

The cutest duckling in the world may only be four lbs. in weight, but we’re not getting ducks. Still, she swoons. Now she’s looking up swans.

20 minutes and counting. Tonight, we will play Pictionary. Poker, perhaps. Soren and Chris will make dinner. I hear rumors of bacon spinach crepes with rhubarb strawberry turnovers for dessert. There will likely be boredom. Perhaps some insurrection. There will definitely be a roaring fire and candles and reading. Books, not screens.

A novel idea.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 14, 2011 12:31 pm

    good for you 🙂

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