The World of Webkins

WebkinsSeems my son, has brought us into the world of Webkins and other electronic pets.  He just celebrated his tenth birthday this week and one of his friends got him a Webkins virtual pet.  Clearly, this mother doesn’t have an issue with loosing her children to electronic reality as much as I do, or she would never have done this.  I may not see my son for weeks, besides to yell at him to finish his homework, and eat his dinner. 

 Hopefully, he will resurface in about a month, with little damage to his vision, and school work.  It’s difficult to know how far to limit these somewhat educational toys.  They supposedly teach responsibility and have the kids work with math and money management. How can you argue with that.   Also, it’s a gift.  I would hope that he would be interested in any gift, rather than have it end up in a heap on his bedroom floor, not to be found again for months…  So, if he is doing his chores, he eats his dinner, he plays outside for a while each day and gets his school work completed adequately, how much should I limit a learning game or toy? Regardless of the educational qualities, I really don’t like those types of toys.  Video games drive me crazy, but even I broke on that point this year.  My husband and I got the boys each a Gameboy Advanced, with the justification that it will be helpful when traveling the 10 hours to my mother’s.

I am not certain to what end these electronic games will bring us…only that they keep my children from asking me to do crafting projects, practicing sports, and generally hanging out with me.  Some days it is a blessing, and others feel like something is missing.  Fortunately, with children, I know that nearly everything has a limit in it’s ability to keep their interest, and they will eventually resurface will new vigor and interests in new things I didn’t even know they were aware of…  They are so fascinating, and fantastic that way. 

I remember being a child once, but I don’t remember the intensity I see in my children’s minds, although I am sure it was there.  Life seems so slow to children.  Yet, that month I loose them to their Webkins, will go by in a flash for me.  I will likely, look back on and wonder why they lost interest so quickly.  So I feel that I should limit the amount of time with the computer games, Webkins and other miscellaneous electronic toys, but I find that my kids tend to wear out their interests in these things if left to their own devices, usually just before I feel it is time to pull the plug on them.  So, for this moment in time, I think we’ll let things happen, watch and wonder at their marvelous explorative nature.  Besides, I can always change the rules later. 

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The Inconvenience of Ethics

Calvin and HobbesIn a world that is based upon me, myself and I.  Ethical behavior throws a very inconvenient wrench in the works periodically.

My sister, after grocery shopping, heard a misplaced noise in a parking lot.  She was unsure where it came from so she asked the gentleman nearest to her.  He was in his car and preparing to back out of his space.  He looked at her, as if she had two heads and said, “No, I do not have a cat in my car.”  My sister then explained to him that there must be a cat under his car.  In a very big huff, the man got out and helped my sister extract a filthy, somewhat orange cat from under his car.  He then drove off, leaving the sticky, cat in my sister’s care.

My sister had her two year old with her and had just sent her second pet to live with my mother until her son got a little older.  So this cat poses quite a dilemna.  She tries to give him to a shelter, a pet shop and the Humane Society.  There is no room in her life for an untrained pet on top of her very busy son, crotchety older dog, and her never-present very busy working husband.  Naturally, the shelter offers to pay the vet bill, but only, if, she will “foster” the kitten.  Eventually, she goes with this option fearing that he will otherwise die on the street, or be put down, as he is in less than perfect condition with an injury to one leg.

In Florida, there are loads of ferrel cats.  The odds of this one getting placed before he grows up are slim. Not to mention, coordinating with a family to even view the animal. By that small decision to save a smaller life, my sister now owns a Cat.  She is no cat person, but loves all creatures and cannot stand to see one risk it’s life if she can save it. My husband and myself, while listening to this unfold, had quite a laugh, as we well knew, she would end up keeping the cat. I know that I have ended up with cat due to a similar situation as I am sure many of you have as well.  Being ethical can certainly lead to more responsibility than we intend. However, doing the right thing, and going the hard road, surely does pay off in the long run with the feeling of self worth and fullfillment.  I am sure this small life will bring new perspective and purpose to my sister and her family’s lives.  Even if they only knows him for a short while.

Besides, a Calvin needed a Hobbes.  


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Love Is Good

Cone FlowersAs a younger individual I had grand ideas about love.  It was intriguing, mysterious, new and exciting.  After several years of dating, I started to form a new opinion.  I was thinking that I wanted to get married at some point and have a family.  Intrigue didn’t really sit well with the day to day of marriage and family.

Most of the guys I dated, while generally good people were not the kind of person that I could see myself growing old with…  Some wanted to take care of me…I don’t do well with that.  I am a bit too independent to deal with that very cordially.  Some wanted me to take care of them…then they wouldn’t have that nasty little drug problem.  One wanted me to dress like him.  Don’t really understand the motive behind that one at all.   While all good people…I do generally like men afterall, none seemed to be that right combination of things.  Attraction alone didn’t really get me what I was thought I needed.

I wanted a partner.  Someone secure enough to be independent of the “couple”, but someone with the same goals and loyalty. By chance and timing in my college years, I was lucky enough to stumble onto such an individual.  I had “stopped dating” as I was annoyed with dating issues and wanted to concentrate on my school.   In my years since, I discovered that a friend was just what I needed and what so many women need.  Attraction and infatuation are fleeting, but a freindship manages to stand the tests of life better.  Being “In Love” is hard to do 24/7, but being a freind allows you to have the fights and conflicts without the feelings of betrayal.  It is merely a disagreement, and is not letting go of some precious sentiment that is virtually impossible to feel in the deapth of the first moments of discovery, indefinately.  Having such a good friend also allows the relationship to bend with the times.  Having children, certainly changes your reality, life goals and perspective.  It really is great to have an individual that can recognize this and still be on board with the changes.

My purpose in this is that I want this for my girlfriends.  It’s so hard to watch other wise intelligent women become different people in front of men.  I want them to enjoy the wonderful men they have and appreciate their good qualities and their dedication, loyalty and companionship. No one is perfect.  But, it is difficult to listen to the complaint of what he is not doing for “me”.  “He doesn’t appreciate me”.  “He should know what I want…like, am thinking.”  Yet, I never hear that they appreciate that he shovels the cars out after snow storms so they can get to work on time.  He cooks great meals and cleans up.  He works hard all day and I hope he is happy. Many women seem to want reassurance that they, themselves are okay.  My opinion is to be happy with yourself first, then you won’t need that as much and can move on with important things. Not only does thinking of your partner as a friend, make decisions easier, it makes you feel better about yourself if you can appreciate your friend for being the individual they are.   

So I am “in Love” 24/7…No.  But there is nobody that I respect, adore, lust after, want to protect, want happiness for, more than my partner.  And I am in love as much as any sane person can be with another.  Being friends can be very liberating in a relationship.  And, Love is Good.

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