not Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

Actually, it’s a laid-back Pioneer Valley Sunday. All I did all day was some knitting while I listened to an audio version of the second book of the Hunger Game series, Catching Fire.

I love the fact that I can download audio books free from the library, but I don’t like the fact that I have to hurry and finish listening before the allotted time. I just don’t understand, since it’s downloaded, why an audio book can’t be available to any number of borrowers at the same time and for as long as they need to finish the book.

My grandson is out in the back yard reading an oversized Calvin and Hobbes book of cartoons; his mom is out there reading some book about home schooling on her Kindle; his dad is nearby reading an actual book borrowed from the library — a biography of Frank Zappa.

My grandson takes a break from reading every once in a while to resume his imaginary globe-trotting journey that is based in a “camp” he has set up next to his “fort” in the yard– complete with globe, desk, drafting tools, and assorted mute companions — where he devises maps and plans his adventures. He has amused himself all day out there with only occasional bouts of participation by the rest of us in his continuing saga.

At some point, I unplug myself from my audio book and listen as my grandson reads aloud to us something from Calvin and Hobbes that he thinks is funny. My daughter shares a passage from the book she is reading about how important it is for kids to have time for imaginative unstructured play. I think about our neighbor’s young son whose days are taken up with competitive sports, school, karate, Pokemon, and video games. A basically nice kid, an ordinary kid, he is almost devoid of any flights of fancy or curiosity about the world around him.

Ours is not a typical or ordinary family, and our quirkiness extends way out to the west coast, where my imaginative untypical son still struggles to find a job.

I think about what the world will be like when my grandson is ready to participate fully in this society, to find work that is meaningful and satisfying. Hopefully, the Hunger Games is not prophetic, although if the Republicans had their way, it might come awfully close.

For now, we are thankful for what we have. And we hope for a future where curiosity, imagination, playfulness, and mutual support and cooperation across age levels are valued a lot more than they are today.

One thought on “not Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

  1. Haven’t been by here for a while and glad to catch up with what you’re up to. Hope your son has a job come his way ‘ere long. We think things are picking up a bit here on the west coast — at least in California. So many unpredictables in this world right now, I don’t hold my breath ’til something happens.

    Appreciated your observations about what qualities to value given how our culture and technology have each evolved from my generation that preceded yours to today. I’d been thinking about some of the issues you mention as I’ve considered the wide age spectrum between my grandchildren — a granddtr on the east coast beginning her high school senior year and a relatively new grandson, now about a year and a half, presently living in the midwest. All indications are their imaginations are being nurtured,as is their curiosity and playfulness. I would hope they will each practice and promote mutual support and cooperation across all generations.

    Hopefully we have, and are setting the example their parents are also following which they, too, will embrace. Your activities description certainly demonstrates an environment that fosters the opportunity for imagination’s development.

    Just today, the gal who does my hair, was talking about the differences in how her son and daughter raised their respective sons. Her son has made certain his two boys and daughter have had limitations on time they’re immersed in technology — that they have creative free time for themselves, in addition to their music interests.

    The latter has resulted in their forming a much-in-demand band that is also a much requested opening act for professional name adult bands, but basically they have a regular life with their band in sensible perspective. The dtrs two sons pretty much occupied their time with TV and computer games, did have some church social group involvement, but became a Cain and Abel story ala East of Eden.

    There seems to be a real contrast in curiosity and imagination between the two families, based also on other facts she has shared through the years — partially set by the example the youths parents set. One might wonder what, if any, implications these differences may have in attitude toward mutual support and cooperation across age levels in the future?

    Well, I didn’t expect to write all this, but guess that’s one of the interesting features of blogging — I never know what interesting thoughts a blogger may be pondering that will coincide with, or trigger thoughts of my own.

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