I think it was just before lunch (I had been concentrating on making homemade soup) that I realised that while everyone was at home, it was very quiet.
Almost too quiet.
As a mother of 2 boys.. That usually means trouble! The more noise there is the better, they can’t be up to anything bad if there is noise… In previous silent times, they have been found lost in a local field and another time, hiding behind a hedge throwing confers at cars (!!!!! I had to deal with a suitably irate driver.. No supper that night) …
Laughing, fighting, crying, chattering… The thud of any sort of ball – football, rugby, tennis..) on the side wall of the house, music and dancing… Or just the tv… Means my boy trouble radar is calm.
So the still, peaceful quietness alerted the radar.
I downed tools and set off with the intention to break up or find trouble….
What I found was totally the opposite. The boys curled up next to each other, headphones on, watching I-pads… The Lego challenge for Willy and music videos for Tom – Jonny Orlando is his latest fad! And always OD!
One of ‘phew!’….No trouble.
Two of ‘cute!… Huddled together…
Three of ‘hmmm’… Too much tech!!
Do my boys have too much tech? They love apps on the iPad, they love the wii they got for Christmas.. And they love YouTube clips for music and fun…. They love tv and movies… They know how to use all the tech in the house and move from one to the next, stop a movie and switch if they don’t like it…
I recall my sister and I playing at their age… We played with dolls, did colouring, we made up plays… If we watched a movie it was one of a limited choice (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Finians Rainbow, the Sound of Music, the slipper and the rose … Grease! The ones I remember). We sat through adverts.
Everything seems to have speeded up! They get what they want, when they want… Can flit from one to the next.
I imagine for the next generation it will only get faster….
I embrace the changes and advances in technology, however I strongly believe in balance in the family and wholeheartedly ensure that simple family traditions are embraced so that our children don’t grow up in a soundproof environment, insensitive to surroundings or other people.
Traditions I remember from my childhood are family meals, family roasts at weekends and extended family tea with my grandad, cousin, aunt and uncle… Playing cards and board games… Laughing and learning about strategy for gin rummy and asking questions in Cluedo.
So Sunday’s for us are about family… Family walks by the river, throwing sticks for the dog, climbing trees… Lunches at the table and roasts with Granny and Grandpa. They learn manners and the art of conversation, respect for elders, adventure and fun.
I remember a week without my phone was the most liberating week I ever had! I may event introduce phone free Sunday’s for me ….