One year ago this week we were in the middle of a cross-country move, job changes, and significant family health problems. We thought we knew what was in store for our family as Stella and Bruce, our Suburban and pick up truck, pulled trailers and ate the miles.
(We were naïve. The reality of our new life is startlingly different from what we anticipated!)
While I didn’t know the depth of the drama preparing to unfold, I do know I Twittered through the move.
I teased my husband via social media by quoting his funny sayings: “You know you’ve been driving a long time when you talk to your truck like he’s a best friend…. I’m gonna need to floss.”
I acclimated myself to living around my quirky dad again by tweeting his foibles: “My dad is ordering at the drive thru: his hand is out the window & he’s shaking his finger at the speaker.” (Little did I know some of his quirks must be attributed to Alzheimers. When we moved, he was still driving and hadn’t been diagnosed. What a difference a year makes!)
Then, the kids! They were constantly quotable: “The girls went in the creek, but Dos didn’t like it too much because ‘that pond freezed me up!'” Or, “Uno: ‘I saw a 6-year-old drinking Pepsi & I thought, ‘What?! What?! What is their mom thinking?!'” (I still love to use social media as my scrapbook for the funny things they say!)
I’m glad I Tweeted during that time because, now, that season is a blur. The only thing I strongly remember was my non-stop, internal soundtrack of a children’s song, “My God is so BIG! So strong and so mighty, there’s NOTHING my God cannot do!”
(I needed that soundtrack. It became the lynchpin to a life spinning out of control.)
(I have to pause for a long moment to regroup because this post has taken on a life of its own!)
Tonight I planned to write about hands-free parenting, a.k.a. parenting without your mobile device feeding cancer-producing technology waves into your hand. Not too long ago I got slapped upside the head by two articles, How to Miss a Childhood and Why You Should Rethink Brushing Off Your Kids When You’re Busy.
These bits of writing made me stop cold and wonder how often I give the girls 100% of my attention. After careful reflection, I was ashamed to recognize how very much I need to improve in this area. (I blame working full-time from home… and my own fascination with social media and my laptop. It’s still something I must fix.)
Tonight I intended to confess to you that I’m a stinker when it comes to hands-free parenting… and encourage you to take a look at your own technology habits and check to see if you’re missing your kid’s childhood.
And I guess I am doing that… But in the process this post has come alive with its own intentions and I’ve realized, hands-free parenting or not, I’m grateful for status updates that spur memories of the past.
Even though the “micro-blogging” world of 140 characters is a shallow place to live… it’s had a positive impact on me.
I’m not proud about the lack of engagement I have with my children when I’m in the midst of a texting conversation… but I can and will change that because my kids are more important than my phone. Yet the knowledge my status updates and tweets have made others smile… well, that’s got to be worth something, right?
How do you manage your relationship with technology and social media? Where do you need to set boundaries?