All Grown Up
Seven years have passed since The Big Turnoff was first published, and television screens are more ubiquitous than ever, filling our walls and fitting nicely into our pockets and purses. While I feel blessed to have so much information and great entertainment at my fingertips, finding a sense of balance in this world of digital media has never been more challenging.
I was a new mother when I began writing The Big Turnoff, and at the time I was concerned primarily with how passive television viewing might affect my son, Casey, and how my own television addiction might keep me from being an attentive parent. I wanted us both to interact with real people and the world around us, rather than stare at a television screen for hours on end.
Looking back, I can see that I was a bit intense at times, but for the most part I’m glad I made the choices I did. Without an electronic babysitter I learned to be resourceful, and so did Casey. We played numerous board games together, read countless books, and hosted plenty of parties. We hiked through the wilderness, climbed mountains and had great adventures. My husband and I watched our son grow into the creative, bright and accomplished person he’s become, someone we deeply respect and admire.
Lately, as I find myself checking my emails and messages, sometimes every few minutes, or watching a funny video on Facebook, I can imagine how difficult it would be to raise a young child today. What I can say is that the time and trouble we take in the beginning to focus on what is best for our children is worth it in the end.
I like to think I’m more relaxed these days, although Casey would say I still have a long way to go in that regard. Mostly I’m glad he’s managed to retain his sense of humor even after I wrote a book about him. Fortunately, we’re both excited to offer our story for the first time as an e-book. My hope is that parents and non-parents alike will find it entertaining as well as encouraging as they attempt to navigate these interesting times. May we all learn to laugh along the way.