Thursday, February 25, 2010


I was on a webinar today. Yes, webinar is a real word, it means you're online with a bunch of people and you're also on the phone and you can message and look at a power point or a website together. It's complicated, but a good way to meet with people in Rochester, and Pittsburgh and San Antonio and Boulder and Denver and Seattle and Boston without having to buy a single carbon offset.

So, I was at my desk looking out over my tiny itty bitty back yard and my hummingbird feeder that all the hummingbirds have snubbed so far, when I got a text message from my middle son. I was on my cell phone for the webinar, getting a text, while trying to follow some deep theological discussion about William Ellery Channing and his view of the divine.

Ahhh! Can you look at an incoming text message and stay on the call you're already on? The text was from my son, I was sure he was waiting for a ride, even though I thought we had this all arranged well in advance. Yep, "can u pic me up aftr 3?"

He's taller than me and stronger than me and certainly smarter than me, but I didn't want to leave him dangling.

The answer is yes, you can look at the text and not drop the call you're already on. In fact you can text back. I know 'cause I tried it. Yep.

It does not mean your child will read the text.

I'm getting used to my children having cell phones, and I'm getting used to the fact that they never, ever, even if they really should, never do they listen to their voice mail. Ever. But I didn't know until today that they don't read their text messages.

They don't.

My son showed up at the house-he'd clearly taken the bus home, I was still on the webinar. He turned to corner and saw me at my desk, he leaped into the air and hollered. Pretty obvious-- he hadn't expected me to be home. If he'd read is text messages.....well, anyway, it's fine, it's all good. Really.

This push-me, pull-you now you're a young adult, now you're a kid, grow-up, stay young. Come. Go. Stay. Fly.

This is going to give me whiplash.

He told me tonight that he's happy to take the bus more often if it is more convenient for me.

"Sure" I said. It's probably a half an hour to school and back with waiting and parking lot navigation time. "But I like picking you up, pretty soon you'll grow-up and move out and then I'll never get to pick you up from school again. It's forced time together, you have to talk to me."

He laughed. But it's true. And it's a treasure. And I don't really care if he forgets to read his text messages, as long as he still smiles when I pick him up.


boston unitarian said...

Hi Kari,
I am very impressed! I still have trouble with the on hold button on the church phone!
And you are right about the kids not reading their messages. I tried to call my oldest last week and her mailbox was full (I have had my cell phone for 6 years and every message I have ever received is still on it...)I dont think I am ready for this.
Blessings to you and yours. BU

dianak said...

So true, so true... I picked my son up yesterday from a bus stop halfway between school and home. He took 2 buses, I met him halfway. He's at that "go down to the man-cave and hibernate and only come up for food" stage of male teenage-hood. The one where speech comes out in barely audible monosyllables.

I asked him about school, his day, his latest project - all answered with grunts. I asked him if he's in the above-mentioned phase and he nodded. I asked him if he'd talk to me again when he's a grown-up. He nodded again, a smile playing at the corner of his lips. Then I asked if I'm still allowed to tell him things, talk to him that way. Another nod, bigger grin. So I told him about my day.

I'll keep giving him rides, too - and I'll do it even if he only grunts and smirks when I pick him up. I know that all too soon he'll have flown the nest and I'll be smiling and thinking of that smirk...