For the last several days, the kids and I, along with Aunt Paula, Nana and cousin Brody have been enjoying the peace and fresh air of the Northwoods. No obligations or appointments, playdates or pressures. Life is good. This is the Johnsons unplugged . . . or is it? Finley has been walking around with a bright purple Prevacid promotional calculator to her ear, even interrupting Nana during a lego-building session telling her, "Hold on, Nana, I'm on the phone." She is constantly "checking her voicemail," and taking calls from her friends Cassie and Dylan from school. (As I mentioned in a recent post, she does NOT go to school, nor do we know any kids named Cassie or Dylan.) She mimics the actions of the adults, sliding her finger across the surface of the calculator, like one would do to scroll through photos when checking Facebook on an iPhone. Dear God, what have I done to my child???
My mom reads a blog about "Pioneer Woman," whose life on a ranch with her kids and her Marlboro Man has become regular reading for thousands over the last couple of years. I think that the reason why is that we all deep down, long for simpler times. But we deny ourselves that, even when the opportunity arises. I am so guilty of that, practically quivering at the opportunity to check my email or Facebook notifications. God forbid I miss one comment on a photo or don't know right away that my old friend from high school is sitting in traffic at this exact moment. And I'm sure I'd be totally out of the loop without the TMZ app on my iPhone. After all, it was crucial that I knew of the deaths of Farrah, MJ and Billy Mays as soon as the news was reported.
I sit here at the laptop, breathing a sigh of relief, now that Tim, Rory and Dad have arrived. Mostly because I have really missed my husband, and realized how much I lean on him without realizing it. But also because my techno-geek (in the most loving sense of the word) brother has hacked his iPhone to function as a modem. Which means I can access the internet from my laptop without having to trek to the local townie bar to take advantage of their free WiFi. Again I say, life is good. Obviously, I say this half-joking. I am as guilty as anyone of wasting an inordinate amount of time on meaningless crap online, convincing myself that it is worthy of my time. Its when it cuts into our face-to-face personal interaction that it becomes a problem. So that means when Finley actually refuses to play legos for fear she might miss a phone call on her calculator, we have a big problem. But for now, she will still go fishing, ride her bike and play with Nana's dogs. She does have voicemail, after all.