Tag Archives: childhood

Childhood Unplugged

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus

I bet you read the title to this post, and thought I was one of those no-technology, stick-to-the-outdoors sort of moms that somehow get their toddlers to eat vegetables at every meal, and don’t even have televisions at their houses. 

I’m definitely not one of those. 

My family has regular movie nights, where we watch entire movies, even beyond our “expert”-allotted one hour of screen time and right before a later bedtime. My kids eat veggies when they’re in pasta sauce or baked into muffins. And get this: we don’t even go outside some days, especially if it’s all that hot. 

But sometimes, we have opportunities to live life unplugged. My daughter has a keen imagination and could play dress up for hours. My older son loves wooden trains and tracks, and spends entire mornings rolling them along the tracks or on table edges, seeing if they’re going to crash when the magnets carry too much. They love coloring, blanket fort building, helping in the garden, and recently, the Olympics have brought on a random but fun interest in volleyball. My oldest and I are reading our first chapter book together, and imagining the pictures as we go along. 

I’m not pretending that we do these things every day. Sometimes, we don’t have a totally unplugged day for weeks at a time. But when we do… when I forget I have an iPhone, I don’t care what’s on TV, I lose track of time, and we just play… Those are the times I feel like I’m sharing my own childhood with them. I remember days of reading book after book, throwing sheets over the dining room chairs and hiding underneath, filling giant coloring books with crayon colors, and swinging for hours. I love sharing my favorite movies with them, or playing reading games on the iPad, but sometimes, somehow, unplugged is just sweeter. 

Now, I’ll be crying by the end of tomorrow about how my preschoolers won’t stop fighting, and I’ll have broken the unplugged magic by lunchtime, but hey- it can’t be every day. 

Holding On To Childhood

(If for some reason you have missed out on the glory that is the Harry Potter series, there are spoilers below, so beware!)

Nerd alert: I am the world’s biggest Harry Potter fan.  

 Alright, maybe not the biggest. But I’m definitely one of them. I’ve read every single book at least ten times, and watched the movies countless more. I take all the Buzzfeed quizzes, I follow J. K. Rowling on Twitter, and y’all, I have a (very active) Pottermore account. I was sorted into Hufflepuff, in case you wondered, and I’ve totally gained respect for the badgers. When the final movie came out, my friend Lauren, Hubby and I planned a party before the midnight premiere. We invited all our (nerdy) friends, decorated my house in Gryffindor colors, and made a feast worthy of Christmas in the Great Hall, complete with fondant golden snitches and butterbeer.  

These snitches took HOURS.
 So imagine my delight when I hear that our local children’s museum’s annual fundraiser this year has a theme of my favorite childhood (life?) book series. I immediately went about recruiting friends, planning for a babysitter, and debating whether I would go with the suggested “spellbinding cocktail” attire or go straight for the dress robes. The chance to attend a real-life event based on the fantasy world in which I felt I could belong (I mean, did my Hogwarts letter get lost?!) was more exciting than I probably should admit. 

Naturally the evening was fabulous, with lots of friends, magic wands, House banners, firewhisky, and floating candles from the Great Hall. It was as if my childhood dream had come true. You see, I’ve grown up with Harry. I attended midnight book releases and movie premieres. I waited months (almost every time) for the next installment of the story, felt the exhilaration of nail-biting Quidditch matches, thrill of new love, and sadness of losing friends. I trembled in the graveyard when Cedric was killed and Voldemort came back. I wept uncontrollably  when Dumbledore died. I high-fived the nearest person when I read that Ron and Hermione finally got together. These characters feel like my friends. 

It may be a little ridiculous, but I think part of the reason I still love it all so much (aside from how obviously entertaining and endearing it is) may be that I’m hanging on to my childhood. I’m almost 30, I have three kids, I’ve been married for 6 years, and all of those things are so… adultish. But this piece of literature, this familiar world and enveloping story are all a huge part of my childhood, big enough to make me feel like I’m Harry’s age again whenever I lose myself in it. My excitement hasn’t faded with my knowledge of the ending. 

Any other HP fans? Or maybe you have another book or movie that you connect with your childhood? Tell me about it – I want to hear!