The photograph above is of footballers from Valley Head, W. Va., at Conley Run. Another print of the same picture bears the date, 1911. Without any additional information, and the participants being dead some time now, it’s probably best to assume that they all just got together to play a game at the flat spot next to the run.
My children and I have been indulging in Screen-Free Week. We have read books, played games, and talked together. A week earlier they were binge-watching something or other in separate rooms on separate devices.
Some days I regret being in this field–my life is defined by screens–but it has given me what one friend calls an Advanced Lifestyle. It helps to remember that there were reasons I chose a field where I could work from anywhere. Being a parent was one of them.
More important than being screen-free is spending time connecting with other people and in being, in some small way, the master of your fate. Taste life rather than submit to gavage. You are more than a consumer.
My daughter told me I should get some face lotion for my dry skin. I thought she would ask why I was crying, but the dry salt of my tears hid among the rough flakes of skin. I can feel them yet there, crusted on my swollen face.
This is how a sixteen year-old says I love you: Use lotion, Dad.
If you put a kid who’s teaching himself to read so he can play his favorite games, who can do simple sums, and who can count well past 200, in full-day Kindergarten, and he comes home saying he hates math and reading, you’ve done something tragically wrong.
If you take a kid who’s been proficient in math since before Kindergarten, and whose favorite subject was math until this year, and now he says he hates it, you’ve done something tragically wrong.
If you take a kid who loves math as much as she loves reading, who tells you she can’t wait for 4th grade so she can learn division, and who now thinks she’s bad at math, even though she scores high on tests, you’ve done something tragically wrong.
If you take a kid who loved math and science as much as she loves reading, but who left 4th grade thinking that she’s bad at math and science and is about to enter high school still thinking that — even though she’s grasping concepts faster than every one else in her class and is pulling up the school averages on standardized tests — then you’re still doing something horribly, tragically wrong.
Rain falling from the sky
Slowly sliding off the roof
Dripping down the window panes
Glittering on the spider webs
Gently slipping down the leaves
Making puddles on the ground
The sun shows its royal presence
It pushes the clouds away
The rainbow makes me smile