Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Pokemon in the Park

by J. E. Pinto

girl playing PokemonI admit, when my kid first asked me to take her to the city park near our house so she could catch Pokemon on my cell phone, I wasn’t exactly eager to oblige her. Okay, I laughed outright.

“You want me to do what?”

“It’ll be fun,” she coaxed. “You go to the stops and collect balls, and then you throw the balls at the Pokemon you want and trap them. C’mon, it’s a nice day.”

“So Pokemon are running all over the park like stray dogs?”

“They’re everywhere, Mom. I see one in your bedroom right now. It’s big, like a bull. It’s swinging its three tails—swish, swish, swish! Hitting Daddy’s side of the bed.”

“There’s a Pokemon in my bedroom?”

“Well, just on my phone screen.” My eleven-year-old patted me patiently on the shoulder, like I was hopelessly slow to catch on. “It’s a brave new world.”

A brave new world indeed. Phones in our pockets, computers in our hands, and strange creatures in our bedrooms. But as my little girl had said, it was a beautiful spring day. So off we went to the park.

My daughter and I have always enjoyed walks together. Ever since she was a toddler, we’ve collected rocks, pine cones, and flowers as we ventured along the sidewalks of the small town where we live. I worried about introducing electronics into our journeys. Would we still have fun? Would my kid get so enamored with the phone that I became the third wheel?

I needn’t have worried. My daughter found treasures in new forms at the park. She darted from place to place, as enthusiastic as she’d ever been during her toddler years, describing the Pokemon she saw on the phone screen to me and scooping them up like precious Easter eggs from the grass. I found myself laughing with her, the same way I had when she discovered birds’ nests or bunnies on other outings.

It’s easy to automatically look at new ideas and innovations with suspicion. They’re different. They’re not comfortable or familiar, not what we grew up with. But thinking outside the box can sometimes yield wonderful surprises. Our trip to the park wasn’t what we were used to, and we try to limit screen time as much as any family does, but chasing Pokemon in the grass was a fun way to spend a gorgeous afternoon on the last day of Spring Break.

About the Author

E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness. Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog. The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction. See more of her work at


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