Kim’s Blog

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Connecting Like Cavemen

I have been experiencing a strained relationship with my daughter recently.  I know that because of my studies, I have not devoted as much time to my children as they evidently need.  On Friday night we found ourselves alone together as my husband was out of town and my other daughter was at a sleep over.  Usually, my oldest has swim practice on Friday evenings.  I do not allow her to miss her events except for special circumstances, and this seemed like a special circumstance. 

I was faced with the choice of making her go to swim practice or spending quality time together – just the two of us.  Well, the answer seemed obvious to me and necessary to make a connection with her.  I then thought about her interests – how would we spend this time together?  She’s a nature nut, so that answer quickly became obvious too.  

After school we picked up the dog, bought a few groceries and headed to an island between the two communities we live and work in.  We took the dog (and ourselves) for a very long nature walk.  After our nature walk we picked up our supplies from the van, found a fire pit, built a fire, roasted wieners and marshmallows, and connected like cavemen – no we didn’t wrestle around or hunt mammoths, but we connected without talking, without distractions.  We didn’t say a lot, we didn’t discuss our problems, although we easily could have.  Instead we listened to the wind rustle the dry leaves left hanging in the trees, we listened to the fire crackle, and my daughter’s favorite – we listened to the snow sizzle when we put out the fire. 

We connected on a human level.  I have been making a number of connections throughout my journey – connecting with classmates, connecting with parents and students, social networks and connecting ideas but I have been missing the most important connection of all – the connections I have(n’t) been making with my own children.

Okay, I have to admit that I did bring some 21st century technology with me to our caveman experience – a cel phone, but I can explain!!!  As I was playing around with the pictures from my cel phone, I realized that I could create a cartoon of my daughter so I could upload her picture onto my blog without showing her face!

winter wiener roast

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7 Comments»

  Stephen King wrote @

What a beautiful story and so well told! It’s actually nice to read a blog that is a personal reflection on life rather than on the technology we are using!

We do need to remember our relationships with family. Congratulations on realizing the importance without someone having to hit you over the head with a club! I know I feel tremendous guilt over the amount of time I am giving to course work and job versus family. However, I take consolation in that they are supporting my dream at this time; later on I will be be putting myself in a position to support them in pursuing their dreams. With my wife it will be time supporting her long distance running; I expect my children will need me more than ever as they approach the end of high school and transition into adult life. There will eventually be balance (at least I hope there will be!).

  billybean wrote @

Hey! Good for you, loved the fact that you connected without all the fancy gizmos. Sometimes it’s just great to let nature do its thing. Hope all goes well
Hilary

  courosa wrote @

Love this. It’s great that you are finding many different levels in which to connect. These are all very important, especially when they are real human connections.

  Melva Herman wrote @

Beautiful story, Kim, and very nice picture. Sometimes those wordless connections are the best. I connected with my teenage son & his friends (teenage) yesterday in an interesting way. I had them helping me sweep and mop the house, deal with garbage and recyclables and clean the bathroom. The friends were quite cooperative but my son was not, when they were done they were all mad and nobody wanted lunch, they were going out. I went back to my computer, but when I went to check the dryer, I offered lunch again. They not only ate lunch, but stayed home all afternoon, and even switched a few loads of laundry for me. We need to remember to connect and sometimes it needs to be a “big deal”, some times a simple but special event like your walk/picnic with your daughter, and sometimes we need to connect over mundane things like toilet scrubbing.

  megan gerwing wrote @

That sounds like an amazing time Kim. I understand the ‘guilt’ you feel as a parent when you don’t get to spend as much time with your children as you like. I also like that you made time for that human face to face connection. That is something that is often missing in our techno crazy society.

  matt wrote @

This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  Trevor Gerwing wrote @

That is a great story and one that resonates with me very strongly. I have also found that, with the pressures of work and our Masters program, I have not been spending enough quality time with my sons and my wife. Technology is amazing and it connects us all, but we need to pay attention to the little connections, the human connections as well. Thanks for the story and the reality check it contains.


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