Going Dark: Day 3

Today Gaby went back to work, so that left my mom at the house for a while with Cyrus, Erika and her two friends, and no screens. I don’t really know what the teenagers were up to most of the day, but I can tell you that right now Erika is on the couch, curled up with a book of one million pages: It.  I’m positive it’s not age-appropriate, but it’s nice to see her reading, especially a book that weighs as much as a turkey.

There’s not much more to say about today. It hasn’t really been a challenge. I barely checked my phone at work, though Mom called once or twice and so did Gaby.

As Gaby baked homemade cheez-its this evening, we discussed how we feel about no screens so far. I don’t really care. We both agree to feeling much less anxious. There’s no desire to grab a phone and see what’s happening. No wandering eyes across the dinner table. No staring at someone a little longer waiting for them to hit send until they’re ready to talk. We do miss Netflix, Gaby especially since her favorite thing to do at night is shower, lie down, and turn on one of those damn sci-fi shows. I don’t miss that as much. Or, I don’t miss the question of “what do you want to watch?” which is usually 15 minutes of trying to decide and then ultimately just giving up on anything and going to sleep.

Mom asked me last night if Cyrus would be allowed to play video games today. I said no. She sounded worried. This evening as we ate, I asked her how the day was, if she found anything challenging. She said it was a great day; he worked in his activity book, he played balloony ball, they read so much Captain Underpants, he played with his new PJ Mask headquarters.

Then this wonderful moment happened at dinner: Mom reminded Cyrus that he wanted to call a family meeting. I told him the time was right since we were all gathered.

“Gather ’round, everyone,” he said. “We’re going to talk about politics. Now, as everyone knows, Donald Trump is the president. Who is his arch nemesis? Is it Hillary Clinton?”  We all agreed it was. I asked what else he wanted to say about politics. “I’m going to be president,” he said. Erika asked if he wanted to be a democrat or republican. “I want to be the guy with the glasses,” he said. “Are you talking about Bernie Sanders?” Erika asked. “Yes,” he said. And thus concluded the meeting.

A few moments after he and I came upstairs tonight to get ready for bed, I went to my room for a minute. I turned around to find Cyrus’s door shut and Led Zeppelin playing. It was time to read and go to bed, but I didn’t want to interrupt whatever independent moment he might be having. I waited a few minutes. Eventually, I found his door open. He was reading Captain Underpants as Robert Plant sang, just as last night, “I said baby, you know I’m gonna leave you.”

Today’s difficulty rating: very easy

p.s. I grabbed for my phone not long ago (it wasn’t there) to text Mom thank you for helping out today and pulling such a long shift. So, thank you. We love you.

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