Ah, Summer. A time When Cubans drag out the Caja China to roast…anything, and sit around talking. (Gossiping, actually, but let’s go with “talking”.) Mojitos and sangria flow, (as easily as the “chisme”), and a gorgeous time is had by all.
Unless, of course, you are moving.
This summer, my familia and I moved to a new abode, as my partner and I decided that separate rooms and bathrooms were best for the boys. (Meaning: us.) My youngest is a comedian. This, combined with his genetic Cuban inability to NOT STOP TALKING for more time than it takes to inhale, makes him a poor companion to his school attending brother, who must enjoy something called sleep. (Side note: a CIA friend of mine told me that he nodded off, several times, whilst working in Cuba, where his job, in part, was to listen to Castro’s speeches, and then Brief his CO. How long did he talk for, asked I? 8 hours once, answered he. Eight hours STRAIGHT!)
So. We found a lovely loft close to Saint School, and packed. And packed. And packed.
Whilst winding down from our former address, we cancelled our cable and just had enough Wi-Fi to manage our phones and internet. That meant, no telly, AppleTV, or Netflix. (I refuse to allow my computer to be an “entertainment device” that may further intrigue the children, so mama had enough EMF waves to use her phone and computer, but could not be bothered with streaming anything for the littles.)
The first few days were fun for the escuincles, (so my Mexican partner calls them), as there was noise, action and general mayhem. But. Then. The inevitable request: may we please watch a film? No. We don’t have Cable, we answered, smelling like packing tape. Can’t you buy some? No. We need to wait until our move is complete. Fine! I’ll go read a book! Lovely. You should do.
Two weeks of this, you understand.
The move was complete. As other families were glamping under the star crowded skies of Montana, or gazing at the startling realistic veined marbles of Florence, we were editing, donating, moving, cleaning, organizing, settling and sweating. The children, who were at first amused and delighted at the novelty of the situation, were now now as annoyed, frustrated and sour as we were. But. It got done(ish). And all was well(ish).
And then: May we PLEASE watch a film?!
Two weeks without being able to “Netflix and Chill”, or put on Ratatouille had forced us into being more inventive with the children to entertain them. It had actually also forced us, as adults, to be more playful and present. We cooked more together as a family. We went for longer walks. We ALL learned to live without being entertained, and to be more thoughtful, inventive and interactive. By the time we realized that we sometimes employed the telly to quiet the children, so that we could have Big People Time, we also realized that we somehow “lost” time to the same device.
We are settled now. As we work with the firm that will build our green home, we are sorted in our much edited, airy and light drenched loft.
And, somehow, we still haven’t managed to call the Cable company.
It’s a bit louder and more dramatic without telly. But. To be honest. I feel that I now have “more” of those whom I love best, without that mesmerizing box. What do they call it? Oh. “Prime Time”.