I spent a pleasant day with Scarlett today, chaperoning her field trip to a local apple orchard.
I enjoyed sitting close together, with my arm around her, reading funny books with ridiculous plots during the 45 minute bus ride.
While at the orchard, we picked pumpkins and toured the apple barn and bounced around on fresh hay bales during the bumpy hayride.
On the way back to school, Scarlett looked over at the other children, the ones who were having a good old time playing with their Ipads and DS devices and said, "I wish we could have brought our Ipad!" I said, "Who wants to play with a stinky old Ipad, when we have each other?"
Then I pulled the only thing I could think of that might beat an Ipad out of my way, way back machine...the McDonald's hand-clapping song. You know the one that goes "Big mac, fillet-o-fish, quarter pounder, french fries!?"
Scarlett was thrilled to be snapping and clapping, and soon her friends were also amazed by our little game.
As we played, I noticed how wonderful and joyful it felt to be looking into her beautiful eyes, half-squinting with laughter, to grab and clasp and clap our hands to each other's as part of the song, and to feel for that brief moment that we were in a world all our own!
What a release! And what a wonderful interaction would have been stolen from us, had Scarlett been playing with an "interactive" electronic device instead of interacting with her mom!
I felt the truth of of Sister Wixom's wise counsel to disconnect from technology in order to reconnect to our children and of Elder Cook's words of warning that "if we allow our culture to reduce the special relationship that children have with mothers and grandmothers and others who nurture them, we will come to regret it."
I learned a powerful lesson first-hand today, not to squander the opportunities we have to BE with our children, no matter how easy it is to do in our culture...I also learned I need to have a lot more hand-clapping games handy!!
(My kids also like Lemonade, Crunchy Ice learned when visiting their grandparents on a mission in Atlanta a few Thanksgivings ago! Thanks, Steve, for making today possible!)