Is That Too Much to Ask?
or How You Know When You Are Laying It on a Bit Thick
Obsessed. Supremely focused. Singularly occupied. Wholly devoted.
All phrases that describe my 11-year old's love affair with the Wii. He has wanted one thing, and one thing only this week: playing time. When not playing the Wii, he has been looking up new games on the internet (scary) and making endless lists of the games he wants to buy when he comes into some money. It's all he talks about. It's all he thinks about. It is his crack.
(We have always been an anti-game system family. We somehow convinced ourselves that a Wii would be different, and got one for the kids for Christmas. We may well regret this decision; the verdict is still very much out.)
It's been a little bumpy for us, but not surprising. This is how he gets: he's been this way about the World Cup and about Shakespeare, so it's par for the course for him. He comes by it honestly -- his own father can have a similarly tenacious hold on a subject of interest, to the obliteration of all else.
But then, we are the parents, and it's our job to teach him how to handle new things, like the Wii, and to understand where a video game fits into the overall experience of life. This may prove harder than we think.
Last night, he was obsessing about games: which ones he wants, and when and where we can get them. (Can we go to Blockbuster now and rent one? Can we join a game site now to have them delivered to our door? Can I borrow some money now and buy one tonight from Amazon?) Phew!
We were in the kitchen making dinner (Rick was making another paella), and our beautiful boy was pushing hard for games, games, games, and playing, playing, playing time. He already had friends over for an entire afternoon of Wii-playing, so it was "screens off" for everyone at this point in our evening. He was lobbying for more time. It was pretty intense, and a little disturbing. We tried to talk to him. About how it's OK to do something different, to read, for example. "I just read for 15 whole minutes!"
The poor kid was going crazy with desire. Eventually, he was so exasperated he blurted out: "I just want more stuff to play with!"
Rick came up with this: "Do you know what Jesus says about people who have too much stuff? That 'it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'" (Big eye roll here) "He also says to give up all your possessions and follow him."
Panicked kid: "I'm not going to give up my possessions!"
Us: "Well, the point is that material possessions are not what's most important in life." At some point, Rick said something about eternal life, and so brought on the conversation ender from our kid:
"I don't want eternal life! I just want some video games!"
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