Edward Scissorhands Meet Mommy iPhonehands

Keeping in touch with my son while I was away last weekend

I have a gazillion things to be doing right now. We’re leaving in 4 hours to head to the mountains for the weekend. I need to pack, figure out what food to bring to the cabin, finish two blogs, do a load of wash, and take a shower. Those are the A-list priorities. There are B-list priorities too. So, what am I doing? Watching video I just found of my boys when they were 2 and 4. The video is so old it’s actually on a camcorder that uses tapes. Seriously. Tapes. So, I am watching the videos on the camera while tearing the house apart looking for the one infernal USB cord out of the millions that we have that will allow me to transfer these precious memories to my MacBook. It’s maddening. I’m a woman obsessed.

Yesterday I read a blog article about how we’re tuning out our families in favor of games, texts, and other diversions on our mobile devices. I’m far more guilty of that transgression that I would care to admit, but anyone who knows me and sees me on a regular basis knows the dirty truth. I agreed with the article completely, noting that I do often sit with my boys but play Words With Friends rather than fully engaging with them. It’s not right. I’m sending them the wrong message. They clearly deserve more from me than to have me check out on them in person in favor of getting a good score in my tw0 minutes of game time on my Scramble app.

In light of this struggle I am having with this ancient camcorder from 2003, though, I was thinking today that while our mobile devices can be a distraction they can also keep us in touch with what’s important. I am helpless without my iPhone. It’s always within 10 feet of me. Is that sick? Probably. But, now I have a camera and video recorder with me at all times. I no longer record solely birthday parties and then miss the moment when we are at the park and Joe negotiates the monkey bars successfully for the first time because I didn’t have a camcorder on hand. Because of my iPhone, I can watch video of my kids while I’m sitting on a beach on vacation with my hubby. I use the Notes app to write down funny things they say that might have otherwise been lost in time. My sons and I FaceTime when I’m away and can’t be there in person to say their “angel prayers” at night. I use my phone to time them as they do their math facts, to track their appointments, and to answer their questions in a timely manner…like when we’re at the zoo and they ask me what places tapirs can be found other than South America.

I suppose, as with most things in life, it all comes down to moderation. I don’t want to go back to the days when I would realize my camera didn’t have film or that I forgot to bring the video recorder. I guess I won’t toss out my mobile phone just yet. But, I will make sure to put it down more often so my boys don’t grow up remembering me with one human hand and one iPhone hand.

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