I was reading through some of my older blog posts today and found one that I had not shared but felt strongly that I need to share. This post really says a lot about my self as an author and writer. This was written before my book Excuse Me Sir, Do you Bark English? was written. I hope you enjoy.
February 26, 2019
As I sit here on my back patio going back and forth between writing and gardening, I was trying to figure out a name for this article. That’s when Al Green came on singing this song, Love and Happiness. And truly this title sums up what I was wanting to communicate with my readers about my passion for my Blueberry Pancake Publishing.
We all love the progress of the world and technology that helps us to do things faster or easier. Do you remember having party lines on your phone, or using a rotary phone or even your first cell phone? Do you remember when you wanted to play with a friend, you had to go out the door and walk to that friend’s house? You had to ring the doorbell and ask the parents if their child could play. This was usually followed up with going outside to play and inviting other kids in the neighborhood to play with you. I grew up climbing trees, playing marbles, jumping into leaf piles, riding my bike, building forts out of blankets, building igloos out of snow, swimming, skating on frozen ponds and making mud pies. I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything.
While I was raising my own children, I think I was caught in the trap of media. I allowed them to watch too much tv. A little is ok but I admit I caved and allowed more than was necessary. They still played outside, got dirty, climbed trees, went hunting for frogs at our cottage and had so many sleepovers with friends. These are the precious memories that will stay with them all their lives.
By the time my children were in their teens, cell phones were just coming into being popular. I admit there was a great relief that I was able to stay in touch with my children throughout the day. If there was a problem, I knew within seconds. The computer and cell phones are awesome tools for research, information, and communication. But if you look around any street, mall or dining establishment you will see people staring at their phones. Not only are we missing out on the opportunity to communicate with each other, but we are also letting life pass us by.
There is a push or desire within some of us to have not only less screen time for ourselves but for our children. I can’t imagine that staring at a screen all day long is good for our kids. In my opinion, as they say with everything… moderation is key. Children need to learn how to use the tools of our world. But children also need to know what it feels like to search a shallow stream for a tadpole and understand that it will one day become a frog. If your child is engrossed in online games all day, they become stagnant and unhealthy. Children need fresh air, the opportunity to explore the world and the love of their family to help them in this adventure called life.
In my own personal way of communicating how important I feel it is for children to have less screen time I am doing something that some people may find drastic. I will not be offering my book as an e book. I feel children need to be able to hold a book in their hands, feel the paper and turn the pages. All while understanding the concepts of reading top to bottom, left to right and front to back. It sounds like such a simple thing, but it is truly a concept of learning how to read.
The other day I was sitting in the rocking chair holding my precious new grandson. He is all of 4 months old. I was reading to him and holding the book while he looked curiously at the pictures, listened to my voice read the story and proceeded to try to eat the book. I laughed and thought what a beautiful moment it was to share with him. A moment I would have never had if I had just handed a toy to him while he sat in his bouncer and I stared at my phone.
Children grow up so fast. We only have one chance to make their childhood as wonderful as possible. I will end this article with this last little story. A few years ago, when I lived in The Netherlands, I had taken a bus tour to Paris. I was sitting behind the bus driver as we drove, and we chatted in English. I had asked him what he loved most about his childhood. He said riding on the back of his mother’s bike. He said there was no way to explain the amount of love, comfort and trust that is created with this one small act that the Dutch people embrace. A bond of being very present in your child’s life. As an American, I would like to embrace this kind of bond and if I’m holding onto my phone, I am missing opportunities like this one.
My book is still in Washington getting its copyright, but when it returns it will be available in a soft or hardcover option.
Sending Love and Happiness, Blueberry Pancake Publishing