My cousin’s ten-year old son Simon is saving up for a Fitbit. I learned this at dinner our first night (last night) in Washington, D.C. when he reached across the table, eyes wide and focused on my wrist, and asked if he could see my Fitbit.
He likes the idea of knowing how far he walks or runs. He likes the idea of knowing how long he actually sleeps each night. He likes the idea of researching the sizes and colors and types of Fitbit choices. He likes that he has somebody in front of him who can answer all his questions about setting up and using a Fitbit.
Simon is thorough. He wants to know how I can set a wake-up alarm. He wants to know how I sync up the data from my wrist to my computer or phone app. He wants to know if I have the large or the small wristband. He wants to know if I like my Fitbit.
Meanwhile, his seven year old brother Ben acts disinterested. He’s reading his graphic novel and picking at the food on his plate. However, Ben is paying more attention than it seems.
Today, we are walking toward the Vietnam Veterans Memorial when Ben quietly asks if he can see my Fitbit. He checks out all of my stats: steps walked, miles walked, calories burned, flights of stairs climbed. He plays with the clasp, figuring out how to secure the band. He tries to slide it over his hand and discovers he has to unclasp it, put it around his wrist, and re-clasp it. He runs ahead and back to me and then, checks my stats again. He tells me that he’s going to add a lot of steps for me.
Ben runs ahead, taking tiny, fast steps. He checks the stats. He takes longer steps. Checks the stats again. By the time we’ve passed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and are heading toward the Lincoln Memorial, he’s added 1000 steps to my Fitbit.
He offers to run up the many steps of the Lincoln Memorial for me, but his mother suggests it might be time for him to give the Fitbit back to me.
I climb (not run) up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. Ben comes over and checks my stats. He points out that I’ve climbed 34 flights of stairs today. He seems impressed. I am kind of impressed with that too.
As we’re leaving the Lincoln Memorial, Simon tells me that when he gets his Fitbit, he’d like to get the slate grey one because it looks kind of bluish. Then he tells me that the clip-on Fitbits have better color options. But he wants the Charge, which is the wristband that I have.
So he’ll have to settle for the slate colored one.
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