I love camping. I don't really enjoy the packing or unpacking parts, especially since our tent trailer bit the bullet last year. I like tents, but I sure don't like losing all my storage. Once we get out there and get settled, get the fire going and start relaxing, camping is one of the best breaks I can think of.
We found a nice place last year, close to home and great for ATV's. I really like it there. Most of the places we've camped are so out of the way that we don't even have an option for cell service or anything else, but this one is just close enough that we do have service. And yet, we still do not use it. The only technology used over the weekend was the music on the iPod. (I am discounting the use of the iPad, it was only used in the bathroom. We have a child with encopresis. When it comes to that, I do what I gotta do to keep this kid regular.)
The cell phone stayed in the vehicle. I did look at the time on it a few times, but not much. For the most part if someone asked what time it was I just asked if they were hungry. Usually were. That's how you know what time it is when you're camping. "Oh, you're hungry again? Must be lunchtime."
I spend a lot of time through the week on my laptop. I watch the Angel Baby play behind the screen. Earlier this week, 4 of us were plugged in to something and Macboy said "Hey, I feel kind of left out here!" It happens. We live in a digital world. Without the internet, I wouldn't have the job that I have and couldn't be at home. But it is too consuming. Imagine going back a decade or two where the TV began to take over. That's actually not sounding so bad now.
When I take a day off, I usually still have email to check or blog posts to write or messages to return on Facebook.
For four days, I did not look at email. I did not answer my phone. I played in the dirt with Angel Baby. Couple plastic spoons and some cars go a long way. The kids rode bikes and played games. We made S'mores, did all the awesome camping things and came home smelling like the fire! The kids played on air mattresses in the tents. Everyone talked and was listened to.
I learned a few things about what is important to my kids. I learned that consistency in anything makes a difference in our kids. My boys were able to find signs at the campground from the last time we'd been there. It was familiar and comfortable. It was exciting to them, to see that they really do leave a mark wherever they go.
It was an excellent weekend. I almost hated to come back to reality. But here I am.
This week, we have locked up the iPods and DS's and controllers from the video games. We are detoxing. No one will get the games back until Friday. I will be turning off everything as well when the kids are at home. I do have a few commitments online, but will do my best to have those things completed before the kids get home. This is not as extreme as our normal WWE as I am not eliminating all electronics. We will have the computer for schoolwork and the TV is not banned. It's the devices that pull us all in different directions. The devices that the kids are so hooked on that I have to check their rooms 4 times after bedtime to make sure they are shut off and put away.
I hope to see some positive attitudes come back into this house. It has been proven in our house that disconnecting helps us connect and I look forward to this entire week. I will post short updates on facebook when I can, please join me on Busy Mama's page, but I lead best when I lead by example!