In a last ditch effort to firm up summer plans for my two boys, my mind goes racing back to the summers of my childhood -- those late '70s and early '80s summers.
Between ridiculously expensive weekly camps, babysitters, friends and family, I am attempting to piece together summer fun for them that will get them moving, get them outdoors and lessen their screen time.
Once again, I think back to my childhood summers. Where I know there were certain days I logged many, many hours of television. I'm not proud of this; it's just a fact.
Yep. Some days my brother and I put in a full workday in front of the tube, complete with tray tables so we could watch through breakfast and lunchtime.
Based on conversations with friends, their homes were also full of many hours of television as well.
And guess what?
We're all fine, intelligent people.
My mother always says I learned to read and write thanks to my daily plop down in front of Sesame Street and Electric Company -- thank you very much, Big Bird and Morgan Freeman.
Of course, there was only one screen option to be had back in 1970-something. Today there are just so many screens, too many screens... back in the day, we just had the one in the living room. Now screens are mobile, accessible, in cars, in restaurants, on phones, in our pockets, everywhere. I get it. It's not good.
Honestly, I'm grateful not to have grown up with all this technology.
But... does anyone else agree with me that the quality of programming we watched with our family was a bit more... shall we say... mature back then?
- How many friends do you have who watched soap operas with their moms as young girls? All My Children? Days of our Lives? And everyone knew who Luke and Laura were, regardless of how young you were.
Eventually, we would tire of the living room and of the television and go outside.
The banana seats on our bikes were calling -- we didn't have scheduled play dates, we just played with the gang of kids on our street. If those kids weren't around, we sat in the backyard with our siblings or by ourselves dancing to the Grease soundtrack or playing in the sandbox.
And then when Dad got home from work it was "Wapner Time." The People's Court was on!
Time to bring things back -- back to that one TV in the living room. That means losing a few screens for me. No more iPad on one arm of the chair and iPhone on the other arm. I'm having screen time with my boys.