|utterly absorbed by the world they've created|
by noteworthy at 7:29 am EDT, May 30, 2014
I've come to believe that a lot of what's wrong with the Internet has to do with memory.
In our elementary schools in America, if we did something particularly heinous, they had a special way of threatening you. They would say: "This is going on your permanent record".
It was pretty scary ... How wonderful it felt when I first realized the permanent record didn't exist. They were bluffing! Nothing I did was going to matter! We were free!
And then when I grew up, I helped build it for real.
Look at it hard, and find the things that do not work. Be harsh, in the interest of being excellent.
Andrew and Jenny, a brother and sister who are 6 and 4, respectively, explore a patch of woods to find the best ferns to make a bed with. Jenny walks around in her knee-high white socks, her braids swinging, looking for the biggest fronds. Her big brother tries to arrange them just so. The sun is shining through the dense trees and the camera stays on the children for a long time. When they are satisfied with their bed, they lie down next to each other. "Don't take any of my ferns," Jenny scolds, and Andrew sticks his tongue out. At this point, I could hear in my head the parent intervening: "Come on, kids, share. There's plenty to go around." But no parents are there; the kids have been out of their sight for several hours now. I teared up while watching the film, and it was only a few days later that I understood why. In all my years as a parent, I have never come upon children who are so inwardly focused, so in tune with each other, so utterly absorbed by the world they've created, and I think that's because in all my years as a parent, I've mostly met children who take it for granted that they are always being watched.