Tag Archives: technology

Snow prayers and Star Wars

Mythankfulboy’s and my evening thankfulness ritual is settling back into routine.  We always do it, no matter where we are or what’s going on (except some nights when he’s at his dad’s), but it’s nice to get back to the routine of our chalice and our house after the winter holidays.

Feels funny to say “winter holidays”.  There’s been no winter!  It’s January 12th, and we’ve only had a few cold days and no snow.  Apparently there was a 20-minute snow squall today, but I missed it.  Sigh.

Lately, B has been thankful a lot for family, for technology, and for homecoming.  One night we were both thankful for the Star Wars movies, although he has only seen the latest (and this only under the threat of not being allowed to play the new Star Wars game for Xbox One until he had seen at least one of the movies).  Nothing like a flick about good old-fashioned Good versus Evil.

Before closing, the dog required a trip outside, and what did I find when I opened the door but SNOW.  Sparkly, swirling snow coming down like it meant it, even though I’m pretty sure it’s just another squall.

Thankful, thankful for the answering of the snow prayers of a Southern girl.

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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Momma vs. screens

Friday night at his dad’s house.  Saturday night at his friend’s house.  Then, this evening, I practically had to drag him off of his gaming system to have any discourse at all.  I can put up with the socializing, but I will not be completely drowned out by technology.  I asked him to come to a stopping point in his game and to turn it off and find something else to do.  What did he find?  My phone.  I don’t think so, buddy.  He said, “I just wanted to look up whether screens actually kill brain cells.”  I told him that, no, i didn’t think he was killing brain cells by gaming all the time, but I knew he wasn’t developing new skills in other parts of his brain, and that that was equally concerning to me.  I gave the usual alternatives to screens – the ones that were the only real choices beyond TV when I was a kid – and he balked at each as they crossed my lips.  So I told him we could study for the spelling bee, or I could find some housework for him to do.  Spelling bee it was.

When we wrapped up studying for the evening, I wrote some words that were particularly hard for him to remember on sticky notes and hung them around the house (e.g., pyrite, jettison, impugn).  Then I returned for the chalice lighting.

There is another storm predicted for this evening that is a little bit of snow (coming down currently) and a fair amount of ice, if it proceeds as predicted.  Mythankfulboy was thankful for his dog, his momma, and the chance for a two-hour school delay.  Now that he has a middle school workload, he doesn’t really wish for whole days off – it’s just work he’ll have to make up, and he doesn’t want a lengthened school year, either.

I was thankful for time with him, without screens.  He admitted, “Me too.”

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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


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I find that there is a lot of parental angst, especially around Christmas for many of us, around handing down traditions and making sure our children appreciate and enjoy them. Maybe it’s even broader than that – it’s making memories in general for our kids. On the other hand, maybe it’s all just a fight against the social withdrawal around technology.

Case in point. Getting B involved in putting up the Christmas tree this year was like pulling teeth. I can be a little obsessive about the lights, I can own that. I believe what he said to my friend the other day when talking about last year’s lights experience was “I died a little on the inside” (drama king). Still. Where was he for the garland? The ornaments? The star at the top? Sitting on the couch playing a game on a screen unless I fussed at him. By the end of the night, I found myself telling him that I wasn’t going to do this next year by myself, and that he should go ahead and decide now if he valued the tradition enough to put down his blasted iPod and participate (I don’t know where he gets the dramatic flair).

He was very upset. So I made my point; good for me. One point in the “Momma making Christmas memories” category.

A few days later, B went sledding with a friend and his little brother. The kids’ mom dropped him off and apologized for ending early, but her boys were fighting, and she had just had it. She said “I just wanted them to have a great memory of going sledding!”, and then she burst into tears. Boy I knew how that felt.

Why the pressure? Are we trying to replicate our own beautiful childhood memories? To make up for something we think we missed out on way back then? Darn it if I don’t think I just want to raise a tuned-in kid who sees the beauty in being together, working with our hands, and exploring nature. I don’t want the habit of the non-tangible, non-social, immediate feedback of technology to snare him.

This is going to take a while to process. Good thing every parent I know is trying to work it out, too, so I’ve got plenty of folks to talk to.

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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Catch up

I have had internet access issues of late that, in conjunction with the arrival of, unfolding of, and aftermath of the holidays, kept me from recording my son’s precious and not-so-precious thoughts about grattitude.  For those of you who look for our entries, I apologize.  Here are some of the highlights that did not get recorded in the last month:

B:  Being invisible (he says this from under the covers)

M:  You know you’re not invisible, right?

B:  Yeah, but it’s the idea of being invisible…

“For all the stuff I got for Christmas.  This was an epic year.”

“That new church.  Even though we didn’t like it, the people were nice.  I think we should give it another chance.”

“For all the people I love.  Especially my cousins. They are sooo much fun”.

(after a day of battling over the amount of screen time he would have)

M: Tonight, let’s try to think of something in the broader world to be thankful for.

B:  Okay.  I’m not trying to be smart or anything, but technology really is important in the broader world for lots of things and we should be thankful for it.

M:  sigh


Over the holiday we had the good fortune of having friends give us a mini laptop that they weren’t using.  They offered it for B, but because my mini was on it’s way out, with a half-inch of permanent gray at the top of the screen and a circle of bright yellow in the top corner like the sun shining on your work, we decided to give B my existing mini and I kept the newer version.  Of course the newer version had bells and whistles I knew he would have liked to have had, so I held my breath as I presented him with the old one, wondering if I’d get a lukewarm response.  Instead, I got a thrilled, and very thankful one.  “Thank you for even considering letting me have this.”  “Thank you, Momma.  I know not many kids my age have a laptop.”  He asked to write our friends a note, and in that note he said, “Thank you soooooo much for suggesting that I have my mom’s laptop and her have yours.  I am so grateful for it.  I looooove my new laptop.  Thank you again.”  And then I got a thank you note typed on the new laptop.  That night, at our chalice lighting, I told him that I was thankful that he was living a life of gratitude, and that I knew that it would lead to happiness for him.  And I didn’t it to him, but something about hearing your child use the word “grateful” just makes you feel like you’ve done your job.  Amen.

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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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