Jacob had early dismissal from school today at 10:45 a.m. I used to think those half-days were totally useless in the middle of the week, but now I'm starting to like them...and even look forward to them. I drop Brooklyn off at preschool, pick up Jake from school and then Connor takes a late morning nap when we get home. Jake has plenty of down-time to do whatever he wants, but I look forward to our special lunches together, like we had today.
I made subs with all the fixin's, his favorite. We sat at the table, talking and eating while working on a puzzle together. The house was quiet, except for the two of us. We enjoyed each other's company, and I got to know my ten-year-old son even more.
He told me of a recent field trip his class had taken at school. The teachers had told the kids they could bring electronic devices with them to use on the bus, but we told Jake to keep his DS at home. (We didn't want it to get lost). Jake opened up over lunch and said he was the only one who didn't have anything to play with. He said he looked around and saw all his classmates playing with their iPods, iPads, Nintendo 3DS, MP3 players...and he got out a book to read. He wasn't angry, envious or jealous. He was totally fine being different from his friends and that made me so proud.
We're not against technology or electronic devices in the home, but we do want to let our kids just be kids and not push technology into their lives too soon. And for them to know the value of a dollar and not be entitled to stuff. (If kids have iPods before their 10th birthday, what will they expect when they're 18? Or 21?)
We prefer a much simpler life than this world has to offer. We don't try to keep up with the Jones's. We don't follow all the popular trends. We don't buy the latest-and-greatest clothes, gadgets or toys. As long as our kids learn to be joyful and content, grateful and appreciative for all the things they've been blessed with, treasuring family and friends, ready to serve others and live out their lives and make their Big Daddy proud. Then, I think a simple life like ours isn't so bad after all.