Driving through Pottsville last week, about five youngsters ran on a sidewalk as I drove along the street. Laughing and talking, they abruptly stopped as I turned the corner to reach my destination.
Did they seem a little distracting, or as if they would keep running into the street as I turned? Perhaps. But I drove carefully.
To another adult, the running, yelling and laughing might be seen as a distraction, a hassle, a nuisance. I look at it this way: The kids were having good, old-fashioned outdoor fun. None of them held a phone or other electronic device in their hands. Adults today lament the loss of tech-free fun that they knew as children. These youngsters were doing just that. It was a simple, welcome site. A “little thing” to savor in life.
A few days later, before the rain arrived, I mowed the lawn. My son wanted to help. I let him hold one end of the mower handle as I pushed it along. He then helped rake and collect the grass clippings. Call it a mom win. My son was away from the television or an e-screen. The great outdoors wins again.
On one of those rainy days, I passed three youths frolicking in puddles along a sidewalk in Schuylkill Haven. The trio wore bathing suits, gleefully splashing in the water and embracing the raindrops as they fell. What’s that saying about dealing with rain? “Life isn’t waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” These three did just that.
It just goes to show that there is technology-free fun to be had and advantages to go with it. It helps keep children active and makes them realize that there is more to life than the myriad apps and games attached to today’s technology. There is fresh air, sunshine, swimming and so on. Simple things.
Oh yes, and a little hard work — from mowing the lawn to raking up grass clippings and even doing the dishes in the house — never hurt anyone. It brings to mind the commercial of a young boy sitting at his computer when the house phone rings. He doesn’t move, but his frail grandmother does. She slowly pushes her walker from the living room to the kitchen to answer the phone. On the receiving end is the boy, asking his grandmother for a drink to bring to him on her way back to the living room
That commercial blows my mind. Really? Get the drink yourself, young man!
Not all kids are like that, but unfortunately some are. Let’s show our kids that staying active and putting the e-devices down once in awhile is OK. Someday, they’ll thank us for it.