No ping for a day
For three weeks, I constantly reminded my children we’d be getting a new cable service after moving into our new house. I was clear and precise with specific times and dates. I put sticky notes on the fridge and reminded the kids each day, as they raced out of the house to wreak havoc, not to forget: the internet would go out in three days. I reminded them as they rammed pizza down their throats at dinner: the internet would go down in two days. I reminded them while I drove them from the north to the south pole: the internet will be out all day tomorrow.
That morning, I woke to a new world. A world lit only by lamplight and not by the glow of laptop screens, iPad windows or phones.
I had my morning coffee with a wonderful book about the South American Azure Throated Cricketsnicker when my boy emerged from his foul lair.
“Dad, the internet is down.”
“Yep. All day.”
“No internet. All. Day. Would you like a book about snow cranes?”
“What the—How the—“
He was interrupted by his mom, late for work, who threw herself down the stairs into her boots like a ninja, launching herself through the front door while reminding me to do laundry. She was spinning through the screen door when the kid let her know the cable was out. She threw her hands and feet akimbo, lodging herself in the foyer.
“I’m taping So You Think You Can Prance tonight. It’s the finale. Why didn’t you tell me about this?”
“I probably should have put it into the 77 emails I sent you about the cable being down today.”
Just then, a scream came from upstairs. “WHERE ARE MY INTERNETS!”
I sent the ninja to work. My daughter flung herself onto a divan, her face carved into a vicious scowl. My son paced the room.
“I can’t go on,” he said, grabbing me.
“It’s only been seven minutes.”
“I NEED CAT VIDEOS!”
“Well,” I said. “I do have a device with incredibly high-definition, instant read solid memory, that doesn’t even need to power up. It can take you anywhere.”
“GIVE IT TO ME NOW!”
I threw a book at him.
My daughter smiled. She slowly, purposefully, curled her hand into a fist then raised her thumb, eyes wide and astonished at the authenticity of it.
Christopher lives in Chicago with his wife and kids and can also be found at deathbychildren.com.
See more of Christopher's stories here.
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