True confession – a little over a year ago, I caved and bought a TV for the kitchen.
It’s a small TV – not the sort of thing on which you’d watch an important football game or a movie – but big enough so I can see what Rachael Ray is doing across the room while I’m making my own yum-o version of mac ‘n’ cheese (from a box).
I didn’t get the TV only because I’m a Food Network junkie. The real reason I got it was to try to keep people from taking food to various parts of the house so they could watch television while they ate. Our family room was starting to look like the dirty-dish belt at the local all-you-can-eat buffet.
So I capitulated on my longtime rule that there would be no TV while my family ate because clearly I was suffering under the delusion that anyone was obeying this rule in the first place – my husband and myself included.
When I brought the TV home and uncrated it, I announced it could not be on when we are sitting down to a family meal or in the morning before school, and I’m happy to report that we uphold these rules.
The rest of the time – say, when someone is snacking or having an odd meal on his own – the TV is pretty constant company. This has been especially true since June, when the predominant pastimes of summer began: eating and watching TV. (Please e-mail and tell me this is not just the case at my house.)
But we’re not just watching TV … we’re watching the Jonas Brothers on TV. And not just the Jonas Brothers, but “The Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream,” a Disney Channel documentary that takes you backstage, into the dressing room, on the tour bus and even into the private thoughts of Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas.
Around my house, it’s been a Jonas Brothers summer, thanks in large measure to Amy, my 10-year-old. In June, she counted down the days until the Disney original movie “Camp Rock” premiered. (Note to Disney: It wasn’t very original.)
In July, while we vacationed without a TV, Amy taped pictures of the Jonas Brothers inside our rented RV. (We think there were lip marks on some of them, but she denies this.)
If this is August, it must be time to follow the band’s adventures while the family Jonas tours America. Just now, when I walked into the kitchen for a glass of water, I found three of my four children slack-jawed in front of the tube (who says they’re always eating?) while the musical brothers goofed and played with their youngest brother, Frankie, known famously as “Bonus Jonas.”
I’ve never come into the kitchen to find my children watching anything objectionable – nothing that could exploit their innocence or corrupt their young minds and hearts. They’re pretty avid Disney fans, even as teenagers.
But today I realized that perhaps they are part of the culture that may ultimately corrupt the Jonases.
Elevated as they are to the status of teen icons, these three young men now are “Living the Dream” of exposing themselves to the unforgiving spotlight of American celebrity.
It’s only a matter time, I fear, before we and other families across the nation will have had our fill of the all-Jonas media diet. What seemed like a healthy treat made of genuine musical talent and a loving, faithful family may burn out and leave behind a bad taste.
For now, the Jonas Brothers remain a positive image of teen rockers, so they can stay in my kitchen and keep my kids company while they pound down a pizza. Just not while we’re eating pizza as a family.