I remember Saturday nights at my grandfather's house. We would all gather in the living room, adults on the couch and easy chairs, kids on the floor with pillows and we would watch a movie. There would be snacks and chocolate milk, too much talking and laughing so we missed most of the movie and the little ones always feel asleep before the end.
Those nights now linger in my mind with a golden halo of happiness surrounding them. That was family. That was us together. As my husband and I sit in our living room, just the two of us, him on his iPad, and me on my laptop I wonder if we have missed out. Our child is upstairs on a laptop with earphones laughing at something only she will find funny.
How did we get here? Well it all started families began owning more than one television. Then we put tv's in bedrooms. First in mom and dad's, and then for some in the kids' rooms. People started having TV Rooms and television moved into the kitchens. Families no longer had to agree on a program or movie. If they didn't like what was playing on the main television they could escape to another room and something more suited to their tastes. By the time computers became compact, mobile and video capable, we were already separated.
Here in the Hunter household we were able to get family movie nights going once a week until Grace became a teenager. Then it stopped being cool to watch movies with us. Still, she will come along now and then and say, "there's this video you guys have to watch," and fling it to the big screen TV from one of our phones. No, it's not quite the same thing, but I guess it is better than no interaction at all.
I wonder if we are the only household divided and lost in our devices, and then I realize that it is probably a sad reality of our connected lifestyles. I hope there are still families out there gathering around the television with popcorn, pillows and blankets and making memories together.
As for us, we will continue to make YouTube videos that hopefully bring kids and parents together for some laughs, even if they view them on cell phones and tablets in the car or in a restaurant. It's still time together and they are still memories.
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