As a young Mom, I swore my sons wouldn’t play video games. These words were ridiculous spewing out of my sanctimonious mouth. My husband, the young Dad, loved video games since the Pong days. My views were Game Over before it began.
But I was going to put limits. Hard limits. 30 minutes a month on ALL screens and only games involving Unicorns pooping rainbows. And I meant it.
But my age forced my hand.
They still have limits, but the limits aren’t nearly as hard as I’d like. Some days they play for much longer than I ever imagined I was capable of OK-ing. Some days I hear a non-G-Rated word spew out of the Playstation and I barely pause. Some days, I use it as a babysitter. And on every one of those Some Days, I’m mad at my parenting.
I should be making them read. I should be encouraging them to cook different quinoa dishes. I should be making them sew blankets for the homeless. I should be doing better.
But I get over it quickly. That’s parenting guilt. And I’ve learned it can smother you. So I don’t let it. I’m no longer a Young Mom. I know that I have another chance. The next minute, hour, or day brings another chance for me to do better.
But let’s cut the shit…
I don’t hate video games. I don’t blame them for society’s violence or the dumbing down of the youth. Technology isn’t going anywhere and there’s no use fighting it or delaying it. Limits, people. There’s a huge part of me that loves watching them play. I love hearing how Coop asks Becks to hurry up because “We’ve got to finish this.” I adore when Becks scream with happiness because he did something huge for the first time. Watching them play with Mark is full-circle. When they play, I’m not part of the Club and that’s nice too. Hearing Coop say, “Good job, Becket” is precious even if it revolves around slaying pixels.
I love watching to conjure together as brothers.