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Don’t Toss That Out

August 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by Julie Davidson

I’m known to be organized. I despise piles of clutter and useless items. I feel that aside from a possible reality TV show, hoarding is not a good thing.

That’s why my drawer in our kitchen makes me nervous. It’s known as “Mommy’s drawer.” That’s the drawer that houses scrap paper, pens, pencils, coupons, and cell phones. Yes, every cell phone we’ve had for the last decade is in there. Even though there are a lot of unuseful, non-essential items in the drawer, I try to keep it neat. But that is usually defeated once a week when the boys scavenge through it. Generally they’re looking for snacks or batteries. Neither one is ever there.

A few days ago during their weekly drawer raid, Miles noticed a cell phone I had bought more than a year ago. I remember how cool it looked in the commercial. Was it really necessary for someone at my age to have a “cool” phone? Apparently so. Turns out it was the worst phone ever. Texting was a nightmare, and I kept butt dialing people. The same people. So after six months, I ditched it and got a new phone. And in my drawer the cool but not-so-cool phone sat until Miles noticed it the other day.

It was like he’d found gold. “Mom. This phone is so cool. Can I have it?” Those were almost the exact words I said when I saw it at the mall.

“Honey, it isn’t activated. You can’t call anyone with it.”

He wasn’t listening to me. He found the charger and was juicing it up. “Mom! It’s alive! The phone works!”

Just as he said that, Max walked in. I had about two minutes to find a phone for him before a fight erupted. I found my old Palm Pilot. I stopped using that because it was big and clunky and I had to charge it constantly.  Of course I didn’t tell Max that. Oh no. I convinced him it was just as cool as the phone Miles had found.

Turns out these gadgets were amazing. The boys spent the better part of one afternoon figuring out what still worked on them. They discovered they could use the calculator, play music and take pictures. But the mother of all wonders was the ability to videotape. They taped audio from the radio and from the TV. They taped each other, making faces, and funny noises. Their most prized video was of them rapping. I can hear the lyrics now. “My brother’s on the couch. Yeah. My brother’s on the couch. Yeah. My brother’s on the couch. And my mom’s over there.” P Diddy would be so proud.

That night when the boys were asleep, I found Miles’s phone and looked at his videos. Not like I thought his raps had gone gangster style, but I was curious to see what was on there. Mostly it was videos of his brother smiling a cheesy smile. And there were several carpet shots with audio from the radio playing in the background. They became more sophisticated as he used it more. He mastered taping his face while singing along with the radio. It was an audio diary of his day. Complete with a clip of me in the car threatening to pull the car over if their behavior didn’t straighten up. He taped that? Hmm….I must show him how to delete the not-so-good clips.

They were teaching themselves and each other about technology. They were taking care of their new found items. They were creating and sharing. Oh yes, I’m searching that drawer inside and out for anything that rings, lights up, or turns on. This may be the best recycling program yet!

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