My 11-year-old son and I are leaving on a road trip to Colorado on Sunday. It will surely be a memorable experience.
Not just because we’ll see majestic mountains and towering trees. Not just because we’ll dip our feet in cold streams and get some blessed relief from the interminable, 100-degree-plus heat in Dallas.
No, our trip to the Durango area will be memorable, perhaps most of all, because I’m banning all video games, DVDs and TV. I’m calling it our electronics-free vacation.
This is a Dad-generated idea, naturally. Connor turned pale and looked stunned when I issued the decree two weeks ago. He protested, but I didn’t give an inch.
If you have electronics-addicted kids, you can understand my reasoning:
I’m sick of lugging game devices, video players and DVDs on a long trip. I’m sick of the tangled wires and loose discs. I’m sick of passing beautiful scenery and seeing Connor’s eyes glued on electronics in the back seat.
Let me clarify: Connor is only moderately addicted to video games and TV. Some kids are much, much worse.
Still, he zones out when he gets immersed in a game or show. I could set off a bomb nearby, and he wouldn’t notice. ADD, what ADD? The electronics have his full and undivided attention.
Honestly, it creeps me out when I see Connor disappear into electronics land. Will he ever come back?
So on this trip, we’ll answer the question: Can an 11-year-old boy who can’t live a few hours at home without electronics go an entire week in Colorado without them?
Seems easy to me. We’re staying in a rustic cabin on a picturesque mountain lake. We can boat, hike, ride bikes, take a scenic train, visit some quaint shops. It sounds like heaven to this middle-aged man. I just hope it won’t be hell for Connor – and, therefore, for me.
I’ll be filing daily dispatches from the road, starting Monday and continuing through Friday. You’ll find out if Connor starts shaking and having withdrawal symptoms without electronics. You’ll find out if he suffers in silence or lashes out at Dad. You’ll find out if Dad loses his cool, turns red and starts blowing steam out his ears like a cartoon character.
Or … perhaps you’ll find out that Connor never misses the damn video games and TV and becomes intoxicated with the heavenly surroundings. And then you’d read about Dad falling to his knees and throwing his arms heavenward in praise.
And wish us (me!) luck.
To hear how the trip went day by day, read all of the articles:
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #1: A Good Start
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #2: “I’m having a great time”
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #3: The whitewater rafting adventure
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #4: The highlight of the trip
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Day #5: A new discovery
- Our Electronics-Free Vacation Conclusion: Success!