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Mommy Magic


Out of Touch: A submerged phone leads to true communication



January 2013

I was recently listening to one of my favorite songs. I had heard it at least a thousand times, but I'm not sure if I really every processed the meaning of the words. It talked about longing to be with friends and family in a meaningful way. This got me thinking that in today's hustle and bustle (although we are one Facebook post away from finding out what those close to us are doing) it is not the same as spending time with those we love - those we long to spend time with in a meaningful way. Time together and being present during that time together seems to have become a lost art. In fact, not checking texts, phone messages or even update a Facebook status almost seems impossible for us to do even while we are actually with others.

Recently, I dropped my phone in the toilet (clean water, thank goodness). Like most, I was kind of terrified after I dried it off. I scooped it up as fast as I could out of the toilet and ran it over to a bath towel where I swaddled it like a newborn. My racing heart wondering what would happen next. Then I caught my expression in my bathroom mirror. I looked ridiculous - cradling my phone wondering if it would work or not. I was embarrassed for myself.

How did this piece of technology have such an emotional hold over me? So I did what everyone tells you to do when you accidentally submerge your phone - stick it in a Ziploc bag of rice overnight. There I was, a 41 year-old mother of three, zipping up my phone and leaving the house without any form of communication wondering if, in fact, my phone would work in 24 hours. I was nervous and even worried. My whole life was on that thing. When did I last download my calendar? My pictures? My contacts? Yikes.... my heart was beating out of my chest. I grabbed my purse and keys and left to do carpool. I felt naked leaving the house without it. I even considered going back into the house to get it and putting the bag of rice with my phone in it next to me in the passenger seat. Then I remembered my expression in my bathroom mirror only moments ago - looking desperate and scared. So with a silent vow to be strong, I left it at home.

I got in my car and turned on my favorite song. I actually enjoyed listening to the words. I was not thinking about email, texts, Facebook or phone calls. I couldn't because I had no access so there was nothing to think about doing moment to moment. Instead, I listened to music that reminded me of my youth. It reminded me of my loved ones - laughing with them, being with them and enjoying the time I had spent with them. I was flooded with memories as I drove and listened to a song I had heard my whole life. It was like I heard it for the first time. I thought of memories I had with my grandparents as a little girl and when my kids piled in the car from school, I actually shared some of the stories and memories they had never heard before with them. Stories about people I loved and memories that helped shape me into the mother and woman I am today. They asked questions about their great grandparents and about family. It was a treasured moment.

One song, a phone dropped in my toilet and a bag of rice gave me the biggest gift of all this New Year. It gave me the gift of being present and in the moment and being aware of what is going on right in front of me and not on my phone. If I could give you each a gift this New Year it would be a Ziploc bag of rice as a reminder to treasure the moments!

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Tags: In This Issue, Parenting

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