Stayin’ connected

I miss my kid.

Geoff has been out of the country for just a few days.  That should be no big deal.

Geoff & SandyBut here’s the thing. I’ve talked to him every single day from the womb on. Yeah, I used to talk to him in the womb—acoustics are great in there. No, no, I wasn’t in there, he was. For the most part, it was a one way conversation back then except that he’d ocassionally kick when he disagreed.He’s 16 now and doesn’t kick as much. He’s rarely at a loss for words. Don’t know where he gets it but I wouldn’t want it any other way. He’s a great conversationalist and a good listener, even after he came out of the womb. But don’t tell him I said so.

I’m divorced and Geoff and I haven’t been under the same roof, on a regular basis, for the past two and a half years. We spend “in person” time together as much as we can. When we can’t, we rely heavily on cell phones. Thank God for cell phones. Sure, I know they cause traffic accidents (blame the phones, not their users, right?) and people talk on them much too loudly and they are the true reason that the Roman Empire fell, yadda yadda yadda… but cell phones are, on the whole, a very, very good thing. We shouldn’t take them for granted.

Cells give us a sense of connectedness in fast-paced society that we couldn’t get any other way. Let me explain. I’ll usually talk to my kid on his cell phone several times a day, every day. Mostly short conversations, of course. You know what I’m talking about. You’re standing in line at Starbucks, you’re stuck in traffic, you’re waiting for a meeting to start. The phone rings while you are, shall we say, in “dispose” but you pick it up anyway. It’s a Pavlovian response to be sure.

But, I’m praising cell phones.  I didn’t come here to bury them.  Cells are all about real life.  Call someone at home on their land line and you get a machine.  Call their cell and you catch them in the act of living their life and get a slice of who they are.

Geoff called me from a concert last week and I could hear one of his favorite bands kickin’ it in the background. I could hear the excitement in his voice…he called me from O’Hare in Chicago complaining about some bratty kids flying alone who literally got into a physical fight on the plane and no one intervened. He opined that child abuse should be legal, if justified. Geoff knows that dad wants to hear the random slice of life stuff. He obliges. Cell phones bring that to me and bring it to me as it’s happening. What a great invention. What a great way to stay connected.

Geoff doesn’t have a phone that works internationally. For now, I’ll have to wait for him to comment me back on MySpace. Maybe I’ll get an international call at least once this week…or maybe now is the right time to sign up for that Big Brother organization. I could give my “adopted” kid a cell phone too. I think I’ll check into it. I’d be doing it to help a needy kid, of course, not because I’m selfishly trying to get my own needs met. Why are you shaking your head like that? Well, so what if it meets my needs too, I’d still be helping wouldn’t I?

Here’s to cell phones. Here’s to good kids. Miss that boy. Love him lots. But don’t tell him I said so.

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~ by Tim Daniel on July 27, 2007.

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