The day has finally come, I got to drop off my bright eyed and bushy tailed little ones for their first day of school. It was a glorious late summer morning, and one of them was thrilled (Imani)
The other one ( Zion) slept in for the very first morning since summer started, and begged a headache the whole way there.
I know that at the end of the day they will come home beaming and happy, and that is why they go there.
In other news Malawi is ready for first grade,
and Zion refuses to have his picture taken, he squints, smirks, frowns, scowls and just generally makes himself look as unflattering as possible,.
I am a kind word uttered and repeated By the voice of Nature; I am a star fallen from the Blue tent upon the green carpet. I am the daughter of the elements With whom Winter conceived; To whom Spring gave birth; I was Reared in the lap of Summer and I Slept in the bed of Autumn.
At dawn I unite with the breeze To announce the coming of light; At eventide I join the birds In bidding the light farewell.
The plains are decorated with My beautiful colors, and the air Is scented with my fragrance.
As I embrace Slumber the eyes of Night watch over me, and as I Awaken I stare at the sun, which is The only eye of the day.
I drink dew for wine, and hearken to The voices of the birds, and dance To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.
I am the lover's gift; I am the wedding wreath; I am the memory of a moment of happiness; I am the last gift of the living to the dead; I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.
But I look up high to see only the light, And never look down to see my shadow. This is wisdom which man must learn.
I am not much one for the written word, but wanted to share some thoughts on television and media in our home.
Some backstory: my 3 siblings and I grew up in the Italian countryside without a Tv. (Gasp!)
It was also the era preceding the internet, when even our local landline telephone charged you for every call placed.
We spent the majority of our time outside, wandering in nature and playing with our animals and each other.
Sure, we were really really bored most of the time, but I tended to occupy myself with art and imagination, my brother with his Lego's and knight and cowboy games that were played (sadly) alone, and my sister: well i'm not quite sure, but I recall lots of hours locked in her room listening to her little boombox radio. I remember experiencing an absolute longing for the television, and many hours spent begging our parents to connect the tiny box in black and white that would come out about twice a year. Ultimately out of the desperation of our boredom came varied games played, interests in books,art,animals and 3 creative resourceful people. Fast forward to my firstborn Z at about 1 year old. Hubby turns on Teletubbies for him for the first time, he is transfixed, I am horrified. Somehow media crept, then leapt its way into our home in a big way,and it was the perfect storm so to speak: Z a quiet, slightly passive child that loved just sitting for hours staring at the almighty screen, me a young lonely first time mother,with too much time on my hands, not a lot of resources, and hardly any nature in the proximity to distract him with .....well we raised a tv child. Imani followed suit, although initially disinterested, too occupied with her own play, and by nature a very busy and creative child, she adores and imitates her brother in everything he does, and soon she too became a passive spectator. Through the years we have tried all sorts of modifications: from providing only approved dvd's and no actual streaming channels, to "screen days" to weeks on, then off again, restricting it to certain hours of the day, deciding they could only watch nature documentaries, you name it we have tried it. On other days that were very busy for hubby and I, they have watched unrestricted hours on end. Ultimately our media usage has been on the conservative side compared to so many other family's, we have not allowed videogames, Ipads, Ipods, cellphones,and no cable tv, still, I was seeing poisonous effect on my children, particularly Z. While my children are active, creative, engaged, and happy little people that are taken lots of places, and have a joyous experience of life, these are the things I was starting to see: lack of willpower, lack of manual dexterity, affected muscle tone, zoned out, tuned out, passive, overstimulated nervous systems, bouncing off the walls when the tv finally was switched off, loss of creativity and generally addictive behavior towards it. ENOUGH! For our family, my personal values, and what I have first hand witnessed (and urh-hum the American Association of Pediatrics) it was just not working, too all or nothing, the time spent being begged to watch, was equal to the time spent actually watching, and at the end of the day I did not feel good about my parenting. Living in a society with no extended family available or willing to help, where the burden of raising one's children falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents alone, where I have used, and seen the tv used over and over to help "babysit" and give the parents a much needed reprieve, I consider this a heroic act on my part. Sure, I have a lot less time to craft,work on projects, hell, cook a meal! much less down time or time to myself in a given day, but I feel better about my children's future. These days that are newly tv free my children have played together harder and better then ever, fought less, been much more engaged, interested and helpful, and sure, driven me crazy with noise and chaos,and constant non stop movement. My single favorite thing, and that which I will miss most about Televison was the perceived " quiet downtime" that it provided them and me, so I am still working on how to get them to be still, read a book, go to their rooms and rest during the day. I do think there are mitigating factors with media, for example, my husband grew up on an island paradise, where the time spent outside in the ocean, the jungle, fishing, horse back riding and fruit picking perfectly cancelled out the time spent watching Mexican Soap Opera Novelas with his 4 sisters. Different times and places call for different measures! Happy Thursday