Anne Smith :: Blog for July 2014


Hi, Everybody:

As one of my musician friends says, "I've fallen down the Rabbit Hole". Is it my imagination, or is time playing games with me? Is time playing hard-to-get, flirting and running away as soon as I turn my attention to it? My days seem like a ball of mercury; lots of surface tension….once it is broken down into hours, minutes, and seconds, it can't be recombined back into the whole. Each little piece starts rolling around by itself, reflecting a smaller and smaller image of my world! Everywhere! Help!

Speaking of mercury, it is known on the periodic table as Hg, derived from Latin hydragyrum, meaning "liquid silver". AND, speaking of the periodic table, I have to tell you that I have recently and irrevocably become an addict of "Breaking Bad". When all my friends were talking about it, I shrugged, commenting, "I don't watch TV too much". That much is true. BUT….. Marc persuaded me to watch one episode and I was hooked. And now I'm Binging on Netflix.; I can't wait for my next fix- (oh, no, rap infestation ). Last night there was some kind of glitch in the programming and the episode kept buffering on the screen. I was practically freaking out, thinking that I wouldn't be able to view it. I ordered Marc to call the local cable company. Honestly, I was surprised at my own disappointment at the prospect of not being able to continue the show that night. Was this withdrawal? Happily, Marc persevered and we watched Season 3, Episode 9. We promised each other that we'll only watch 3 tonight.

I say this with humor, but also with the realization that I work with a Neurodevelopmental Specialist and we see many instances of toddlers and very young children becoming addicted to video games and their little ipads. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that children actually develop a "neurofeedback loop" that sets up and rewards addictive behavior. Pay attention here: over time this addictive pathway can actually support stronger forms of addiction: drugs, sexual violence, gaming and other harmful activities. Maybe it's cute when 2 year old Alexia can't ride in the car without a very specific CD of certain songs, every time she has to go somewhere, and screams the lyrics over and over until mom turns the car around and retrieves the CD. She doesn't want any other CD. God forbid Mom should try to sing Alexia's favorite song. Mom: this does NOT mean that Alexia has a future as the next Americal Idol. It means that by giving in to her meltdown, you are helping those neurological impulses to become myelinated, strengthening that addictive pathway by providing the reward, and the feedback loop is complete. It goes beyond "spoiling" a child. I really didn't understand the process of child development until I began working with Dr. Light.

My brothers and sisters and I did not grow up watching very much television. Consequently, their own children were not allowed to spend inordinate amounts of time watching TV or playing video games. Furthermore, these 12 nieces and nephews of mine are growing into amazing, intelligent, compassionate and imaginative young adults with all kinds of achievements and scholarships to some great colleges. But I digress….Aunt Annie gets a little boastful sometimes. Why not?

Girls A and B just celebrated their 52nd season together; thank you to Douglas J. Nesbitt,, a fantastic person and very talented photographer who chronicled the event! Douglas, by the way, also created the CD jacket for my "Separated by Words" project. Please check out his work!

I started thinking about this blog one day before my birthday, as I rode around the neighborhood on my bike. I thought it might be about being another year older, feeling the need to leave some kind of creative mark behind, maybe a blog about all the little moments I've come to treasure, the frailty of life….lost in all kinds of poignant possibilities, I barely noticed the SUV of teen age boys about to blow through a stop sign. I slowed my bike, caught the eye of the driver, and he braked, waving me in front of his car. I waved and rode on. "MILF!" one of them shouted. The irony of the moment was not lost on me. Of course, what 51.99726 year old woman wouldn't appreciate being "noticed" by a teenager? But in that present frame of mind, I had to wonder what kind of TV and video games his parents allowed him to watch, or what kinds of behaviors did they ignore or give in to, or model, when he was a child? Our thoughts, our words, our actions….create our examples for children. Choose them carefully. As carefully as you choose your favorite television show, your next new car, or your daily Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte With Soy Milk.

Until Next Time xoxox

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