My son claims he brings his children to my house to de-tech. What does he mean by that? I have a radio! As a matter of fact, I have FIVE radios, and four of them work! Plus a laptop! And a cellphone — never mind that my grandchildren view it with contempt because it doesn’t have apps. (When they get uppity about such things, I tell them about my single-phone childhood. They can imagine worlds with multiple moons, but not a home with only one phone; their eyes glaze over and I hear no more about my primitive ways.)
However, I do not have television, and the closest thing I have to any kind of digital game is an old Fisher-Price gizmo with a crank on the side that makes Dumbo fly. The closest thing to a big screen is an Ansel Adams print. Apparently, then, there are cultural gaps at Grandma’s House.
I do not apologize.
It is good that I don’t have television; television plays to my prodigiously lazy side and makes me contentedly numb. It costs more than it’s worth to me. So my grandchildren have books, paper, pencils. Seems enough.
It is good that I don’t have push-button games. My grandchildren build cities out of cardboard boxes and tents out of chairs and blankets. They race paper airplanes and labor over origami. They jump flowerpots and mine for silver in the back yard.
It is good that I have other technologies: ice cream scoop, knife sharpener, jar opener, for instance. They appeal to my grandchildren’s fascination with archaeology.
This is the place where their tomorrows meet my yesterdays, their time intersects with mine. It’s life. Technology is just along for the ride.