Me and other friends who have kids often sit around and talk about how DIFFERENT things are with children today. Where we used to stay outside until the sun went down, I never see children outside for more than thirty minute stretches at a time. Granted, times have changed so much that you hardly feel safe having your children out of your site for too long, but darn it, kids don’t even seem to WANT to go out anymore. I used to rush through my homework so I could go outside and play. I used to look forward to the summers thinking of all the days I would be able to spend playing with my cousin. Now, my daughter looks forward to summer so that she can sleep in, play video games and “relax because school is so stressful”. Humph. My cousins and I spent entire summers outside , rain or shine. ( we had an covered “picnic area” to sit under when it rained). I guess back then, we didn’t have all the cool gadgets to keep us interested in staying in the house: Xbox, Wii, Playstation, Cable TV…Hell, if I had half that stuff, I guess I would’ve stayed holed up in my room too. ( On second thought, maybe not. Mrs. Smith wouldn’t have allowed that, no way no how).
But times are changing! The television station that still keeps my now 13 year old daughter glued to the screen is now doing its part to get these kids off their azzes and out in the fresh air. I was so happy to see THIS in the paper today. The timing couldn’t be more perfect either. I’m moving this weekend into a small townhouse with a backyard that needs LOTs of work! I was already prepared to drag her out of the house, shove a rake into her hands and give her dirty looks all day, but a black television screen means that I get to reduce the “bring your azz outside RIGHT NOW” conversation by at least fifteen minutes or so. The joy! Yea, I know the intention of the black out is to get the children outside to play, but hey, I’m just happy to get her OUTSIDE. I’ll pull the plugs on the television myself and she can go out and “play” another day.