Time, without any concern for our opinion or well-being, flows on. It will never stop to check back on us as it keeps its steady and relentless pace to the great infinite. Like an invisible river calmly flowing to the sea of history, time will just carry us along for the ride.
Our perception of the value of time is akin to the aged quality of wine. The older we get, the more we realize it is important to savor and not waste what we are given. The only other experience I know of that adds to this feeling is parenthood. Our children – as much as they drain us of patience on occasion – bring out the value of moments. It’s almost as though they hone our perception of what is important.
Some Boy is no exception to the rule. Just five short years down this river and he’s a whole little person of his own. He makes zany and crazy little comments and is meticulous when it comes to the rules. Especially when he benefits and his evil little brothers might face the wrath of daddy.
As time moves on, Some Boy reaches new milestones. This year, as he went off to elementary school for the first time, I felt it was time to give him something new and advanced. Something to help set him apart from his three little brothers, as well as help push him into his next few years. A window to the world.
We decided to go ahead and get him his own laptop. An ASUS Transformer Mini, one of those advanced convertible tablet things. It’s an advanced yet simple piece of machinery, with an instantly detachable screen and keyboard perfect for a kid who finds himself in all sorts of…situations. It can be in tablet mode one minute and full-blown laptop mode the next. When he wants some quiet time away from Minion and Sidekick as they find ever-new ways to reenact a 30 car pile up, he can simply pop the touch screen off and go chill in his room for a bit. He can relax to about 30-45 minutes of locomotive and dinosaur research. As he gets older and more familiar with words, the keyboard can come into play a lot more often to advance his use, but for now he seems to be navigating just fine with the help of a fancy stylus and touchscreen. For kids advancing from pen-and-paper to a laptop, I think that flexibility to let them use it how they’re comfortable is really important. The keyboard is necessary, obviously, but isn’t always what they’ll default to right off the bat.
Another way we take advantage of his laptop is school work. Fortunately, Some Boy goes to a school that embraces the technological approach in an effort to save paper. Not only for the trees, but the dwindling school budgets as well. Some Boy has the ability to open his assigned book reading on the Transformer Mini and can take it wherever he feels comfortable.
Oddly enough, we already had to replace two library books because Some Boy lost them. Now, they’re all saved to files and folders on his own computer.
Last but not least, his laptop is the ultimate “Why” and “How” tool. Being a father, I am apparently responsible for some historic reason, for being able to recite and regurgitate the knowledge of an entire set of encyclopedias. If not dad, who else would know? To circumvent the inevitable letdown, Some Boy and I can get together with his new PC when he gets bit by that pesky wonder bug and he needs ever-so-necessary answers such ponderings as, “why do ants walk in a line like at school?”
So, here’s to giving something special. Here’s to enjoying this river called time.
And here’s to ants, who know how to follow the leader.
It’s scent…they follow the scent.
Have you bought your kids their first laptop yet?