We’ve been hit with a huge change in our house this past week: my laptop, my beloved sidekick, essentially died a horrible death.  Or, it is at least out of commission for the time being.  Not even the Blue Screen of Doom could find its way to my laptop last week.  Just a hint: if you think your motherboard is going out – BACK UP EVERYTHING.  Thankfully, my machine was under warranty and was shipped off to Fix-My-Computerland for a makeover.  Or the dumpster.  We’ll find out one way or another in a few days.

In the meantime, I’m essentially computerless.   My husband does have a laptop through his office, but that is what it is for – his OFFICE.  Not my office or the kids’ games.  I’ve had to learn how to strategically check email and pare down to the bare minimum of computer-related tasks to complete while my baby is being reconfigured.

One thing I have noticed, though, is the changes that have occurred in my house this week.  Okay, maybe not huge changes, but differences between life with my computer and life without it.

First of all, my younger son naps a long time!  Wow!  I had no idea he slept that long.  It always seems much shorter when I’m racing around to get computer-related stuff done during naptime, like Spider Solitaire and Bejeweled (you know, the important stuff).  I got half of my house cleaned during naptime yesterday.  That would be the same house that takes me all week to clean otherwise.  Who knew?

Also, did you know that we actually have time to ride bikes and play board games after dinner?  I had no idea!  Usually, time after dinner is spent playing online (adults and/or children – we have Webkinz to feed, you know), but with the lack of computer this week, we’ve headed outdoors to visit neighbors, take a few spins around the block, and whip out Candyland.  I had forgotten we even had Candyland.

Speaking of games, instead of hearing the bickering over who’s turn it is on Lego.com or who gets to spin the Wheel of Wow in Webkinzland, I see my boys, giggling over their latest “cootie”.  I see my older son, teaching my younger one how to play Yahtzee or Memory.  And, their latest game has been to build a “town” in the backyard (heaven help my flower beds this week!).  Out of what?  Imaginary bricks.  Yep.  And a lot of imagination.

Technology is not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong.  My children have benefitted greatly from online resources and educational sites.  I would never deny them the opportunity to explore things we typically don’t get to see in Texas.  The computer, and the Internet, open innumerable doors for our children.  It is a great tool to use in educating and schooling our children.

But, time together is equally important and beneficial.  The key is to find the balance of the two.  Where does technology fit in with your family?  Is there balance?