A New Experiment – Update

It’s been a week, and our month-long media holiday is definitely improving our interactions with each other. More subtly, maybe, than I had hoped, but the impact so far is noticeable.

First, the status of my goals:

  • Marathon: On Track. I have completed Week 3 of the Couch to 5K program. My calves have been cramping and sore for two weeks now, but heat seems to relieve them somewhat. And my son has decided he want to run the marathon with me, so we’re training together now.
  • Two Square Yards of Earth: Behind Schedule. I haven’t been as diligent about working on the outline as I thought I would be.
  • 100 Posts: Ahead of Schedule. This is my tenth post for the year, of eight planned by today. The Your Turn Challenge really pushed me forward.

So, a few things have happened in our household this week that almost certainly would not have happened when we were mired in our electronic fog:

I’ve taken the kids to the park across the street at sunset (turns out Tween Girl plays a mean game of no basketball);

Teen Boy has decided to run my marathon with me, and has started coming out in the mornings;

I’ve heard Teen Boy playing in his room–actually using his imagination and playing, like he used to;

We’ve eaten supper as a family three or four times;

Tween Girl and I have sat down to read at bedtime twice.

There are others I’m forgetting, but these are the events I’ve noticed–the moments I made a point of being present for.

Of course, it hasn’t all gone perfectly–Teen Boy still hides from the rest of us, but now he’s reading instead of playing Xbox. I have caught myself doing the same, hiding in books instead of engaging with the family. My wife has trouble falling asleep without the white noise of the TV. But on balance, it’s going very well, and we’ve heard surprisingly few complaints. It’s a drastic step, but one that was necessary for our family.

I’ll post more updates as we move through this experiment.

I've been a soldier, a dreamer, a working stiff, a leader. A husband, father, example (good and otherwise), and now a survivor. I write about courage, because courage is what enables us to accomplish the impossible. If you draw breath, I love you. If you love in whatever way seems best to you and want others to love in whatever way seems best to them, I am your ally. If you believe someone is less than you because they do not love the way you do, I oppose you. If you see someone as a threat to be abused or destroyed merely because they do not look like you, or love like you, or worship like you, I am your enemy. I am a joyful and courageous man. And I stand with you who love.
  • I look forward to hearing more – especially about the kids’ perspective!