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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Broadband or Bust

Because life isn’t exciting enough living with a pair of lively Labradors and their minions, the cast of the Jungle Book, the Captain and I decided to crawl into the Pony Express Age and install cable television and high speed Internet access in the house.

Actually the idea for the high-speed Internet came from the boys. When they offered to share the password-protected lock they installed on the bathroom door, we agreed immediately. We’re reasonable people after all.

Just now, the Captain and I are sitting in the living room. Alone, a suspicious circumstance because it's never happened before. “It’s quiet.” I can’t help remembering the “Let’s dress the Dachshund in a tutu” fiasco of ’98. “Too quiet.”

“Enjoy it.” The Captain of my Hobby Shop is a computer technician by trade. He could hack into Bill Gates Christmas decorations and install an Apple tree topper without tarnishing the angel’s halo. He has just put in a wireless router so that we can all share the broadband. This works about as well as the North and South Koreans share airspace, but he’s done his part.

Tonight for the first time since building blocks gave way to bandwidth, I haven’t had to ask permission to use my computer. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: “My turn to use the computer.”

Random Youth: “What’s for supper?”

Me: “Nothing if I don’t get a turn on the computer.”

Random Youth: Sigh. “Fine. Let me kill this guy first.”

Twenty minutes later, the guy is still alive and I’m wondering who’s going to make the sacrifice in his place. Maybe I can talk the dog into taking one for the team.

But tonight the house is so quiet I can hear dust mites tatting lace in the living room drapes.

I couldn’t stand it any longer. Nothing gets to a Mom faster than “that infernal racket” or absolute silence. “What do you suppose they’re doing?”

“Holding hands and humming I’d Like To Teach the World to Sing?”

I followed the day-glo light of laptap monitors down the hall. To my bedroom. The only room in the house with matching sheets.

The boys, who can’t share the back seat of a beachbound minivan for more than a two-minute warning are piled up in neutral corners of the sleigh bed turned Internet Café, watching THE SAME You Tube videos and instant messaging one other. I tiptoed back to the living room.

I might not be happy with the details, but I’m content that all those news reports about families growing apart are wrong. As long as my guys are wireless, I don’t have to come unglued.

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