We got off easy in Hurricane Sandy and the blizzard that followed this week. But try telling that to my kids, who have been without Internet access! for coming up on two weeks.
This has forced them to find some alternative forms of entertainment, which is easier for Riley than Ryan, who, I don’t know, prefers familiarity and routine just a bit.
Still, Ryan has been a trooper. He grumbles every time he tries to get online with his iPad, but then moves on to something else. He even read an entire chapter book, voluntarily, in a single sitting for the first time.
The other day I came home and found him using my laptop, which is not unusual. But knowing it wasn’t connected to the Internet, I wondered what he was doing to amuse himself. It turns out he discovered the slide show function of iPhoto, and was viewing various photos while listening to one of the sappy default music selections that the program offers.
I was happy that he was doing something different and wasn’t bored, but didn’t otherwise pay it much thought.
Later in the evening, when we all gathered on the couch to watch some TV before the kids’ bedtime, Ryan grabbed the laptop and his headphones and started up iPhoto once again. Veronica was sitting next to him and saw that he was looking at a slide show of shots from our recent experience on the sidelines at the New York Jets game. She noticed something else, too. He was blinking hard, fighting back tears.
“Are you crying? What’s wrong?” we both asked.
“It’s just that this was such a great experience,” he said.
We were both floored. I knew he enjoyed being on the sidelines, but I had no idea that it had resonated so deeply with him. As much as I hated to see him crying, I was thrilled to hear him express his emotions so clearly just as much as I was thrilled to have created a memorable experience for him.
Ryan is probably the first person to tear up at a bunch of photos of sweaty Miami Dolphins linemen warming up. But maybe he was on to something. I watched as well. I heard the music, and it does get a little dusty up in the room. Here, see for yourself: