It has been two weeks since I signed off of most of the more recreational things that I do on the Internet. Things like streaming TV shows via Netflix, FaceBook, FaceBook games, my blog... But some of the things I've noticed bear comment so I've decided to do a sort of "check in" post. I still want to leave my last post about Ray up for the duration of September so I am writing this on the 14th, but won't post it until October 1st.
One thing I had planned to "leave behind" more was e-mail. I meant only to check on my e-mail once a week but quickly discovered that it just is not that easy in our society today. I would like to let it all go for the whole time, but I've had requests for information to be sent that just couldn't wait (homeschooling stuff, church stuff, scheduling, etc.)
So much easier is the "do as I say not as I do" aspect. The kids have not watched a show or played a video game. Maestro has been online a few times to work on the Computer Science badge he started for Boy Scouts. He started the badge before we started out "fast" and I decided at the beginning of the school season that I wanted to try to incorporate his badges into his every-day school work so he's been allowed to keep up with his badge work.
The kids have started asking how much time is left in September - or how much time is left before they're not "grounded." But I really don't see it that way. I don't look at it as a grounding at all - more of a ... break. A fasting period. It's good for us as a family.
One really positive point is that the kids have started returning to their toys more - I hear the Legos being pawed through as they search for the right piece, they bring me their drawings and creations more frequently, they're playing (okay, and sometimes fighting...) together more often. I love those parts. I love to see Buttercup follow her brothers around trying to do what they're doing. I love to see the Play-Doh come out, the stampers, the yarn and knitting needles (and the book to remind us of how to knit!) I have had a helper in the kitchen at dinner nearly every night.
Maestro is selling popcorn for the Boy Scouts this month too and he set a goal at the beginning to sell $3,000 worth of popcorn. That breaks down to an average of $100 a day for 30 days, so that is his short-term goal. And without the screens available to hold his attention, he has lived up to the challenge so far. He began selling on Friday and has sold $360 worth as of today (five days later.) Tomorrow evening he will go out with a friend and they'll share the orders - that way they can hit more homes of people they've never met.
We'll almost certainly go back to some of our electronic recreations at the end of the month but it won't be a full-on return. I really like hearing those Legos and cars and markers and crayons and balls come out of their dusty hiding places to be tossed around, clicked together, and made use of. I like seeing the interest return in family board game nights instead of "family" movie nights. Won't they be excited to hear that some of the restrictions will still be in place come October 1?!