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Friday, September 01, 2006

The Way They Play

Cynthia H. Green
@2006 Beneath the Ivy Wreath posted originally Wednesday, July 12th as Just Do It

My son has gone nearly seven years without knowing the thrill of computing
gaming. That spell was broken by the introduction of Bejeweled. In some ways
it has been a great diversion for him when he is sick and unable to go
outside. In other ways, I fear it contributes to the reproduction of the
American Couch Potato. This past birthday his dad got him a Gameboy. A
cousin gave him a Star Wars game for Christmas. This summer his dad found a
Playstation at a garage sale. A recent stay with his uncle garnered the boy
an Atari. And now he's taken over the laptop. Where will it end?

Most recently CWGIII has gotten an 8x16 log cabin playhouse with a red tin
roof. This was part of his inheritance from my mom. I fancied him spending
hours inside it -- pretending to be Davey Crockett or Daniel Boone. His aunt
is coming Friday to do some upgrading on it. She has some leftover paneling
from a remodeling project. Daddy also says we're wiring it for electricity.
So much for roughing it. I now imagine him sitting inside -- or laid out on
a bunk -- coolly sipping his KoolAid and playing video games. Not the
scenario I would prefer.

What happened to imagination and necessity being the mother of invention? What happened to improvisation and creativity, playing in the dirt and fort building? Maybe we should ban the electronics to winter time usage and long road trips. I can hear the moaning and whining now.

Yes, I want my son to be computer literate and electronically hip. Yes, I
want him to be able to keep up with the trends of the tech world. But I also
want him to have fond memories of old-fashioned summers. But I fear they've
gone the way of the typewriter. Now it's dangerous to even be out in the sun
without sunblock. Now you can hardly let your children play outside for more
than 10 minutes alone without checking to make sure they haven't been
abducted. Now you have to wonder about all the mutated germs that could take
over his body via a cut or scrape.

Maybe I'm too overprotective about some of those things. Maybe I should be turning off the radio, the television, the video games, and heading out WITH him to a museum, an old cemetery, a fishing pond, or maybe just out to the playhouse for a picnic. Er...hmmm. I just hope it's not too hot.


Gina said...

I can totally relate to the video game thing. In fact, I wrote a post about it here called "The Devils' Play Thing?"

Heather said...

Makes me grateful for an old fashioned neighborhood with elderly neighbors who love our kids. These wonderful people make sure my kids are safe so I don't have to watch them 24/7.