Breaking News: Real Life Intrudes on Technology .. And Ain’t it Grand?
This time last month in my post The Day My Son Turned Tech…I mean, Ten, I was lamenting the intrusion of technology into our kids’ lives, and in particular, it’s tendency to replace play and social time with vege-out time.
This month it is very much the opposite – a celebration of the many benefits of community, social connection and friendship, something we naturally crave as human beings, and which I try to encourage my kids to seek out. And I’ll tell you now, it’s far more satisfying and uplifting than any game of Minecraft will ever be. In fact, research shows that the networks and bonds established during childhood are a significant marker for adult happiness.
We were fortunate enough to attend the State Surf Life Saving Carnival at Umina over the turn of the month, and while the weather wasn’t exactly inspiring, the spirit in our small group of Coogee Under 8 girls was nothing short of amazing. Juxtaposed against the dark clouds and driving rain enveloping the bay, their tenacity, thrill for competition, sportsmanship and comaraderie stood out like a beacon. Their perpetually smiling faces were a poignant example of living in the moment, and don’t we all need a subtle reminder sometimes!
Friendships forged over the summer months at Coogee Nippers meant the girls were more than comfortable in each others’s company. So when they weren’t competing or excitedly cheering on their team mates, they were building sand castles, frolicking about in the water, mucking around and creating lasting memories.
The warmth that we as parents felt inside as a result of their obvious joy was also matched by the pleasure of seeing them adopt a sole representative from Clovelly as one of their own, no questions asked.
Above all, we spent a long weekend bonding with a great bunch of parents, watching the tireless and unflappable Age Managers beam with pride as their little relay team lifted a Gold Medal, and marvelling at the girls’ innocence as they wondered what all the fuss was about. In fact, the highlight for them was buying matching fluffy hooded towel dresses and getting a french plait done by one of the mums in between races!
Now that is living.