It finally happened…okay, to be honest, it’s probably been happening a lot, but it hit me in a whole new way.
My 17-year-old daughter asked me a question and I kind of half answered her, because I was busy doing something else. She didn’t seem to notice, so I guess I answered sufficiently enough for her to walk away. I’m sure whatever I was doing was extremely important. I was probably checking my email from work, and if I didn’t answer right away, the whole world would fall apart. I know, because it has happened at least…never.
What might actually fall apart though is my heart. As I saw my 17-year-old senior walking away, I realized I just missed a precious moment to connect with her. She wasn’t texting me. She wasn’t face-timing me. We were face-to-face in our home together…and I missed it.
Ever since my kids were little, I’ve heard wise people say that the time will fly by. We all know the quotes—“The years are short, but the days are long” or “Don’t miss the moments”. This time, however, there was something about that particular moment that made me stop and think.
Soon she will be going to college and I won’t have the opportunity to pick my head up out of my phone to spend time with her. I will have to rely on FaceTime, texting, and snippets of time instead of real-life conversations.
There is something about nearing the end of your child’s time at home that makes you wish it would last longer. It makes you want to wrap your arms around them and never let them go (as if they would actually let you touch them, much less hug them, when they are teenagers 😊).
Instead of just being sucked into the escape world of TV, games, and distractions, I also find myself being grateful for technology now in a new way. When she is in a dorm room, I will be able to see her face on a screen. She won’t have to worry about long distance bills when she calls. Instead of having to walk to a library at night, she can do research from her room and stay safe.
Her college experience will be radically different from mine because of so many inventions that have come about. I didn’t even have internet in college. Most of us didn’t have our own computers—we went to a computer lab on campus and email was a brand new form of communication!
So instead of letting it break my heart of how she will be leaving me and starting a new chapter, I will try to start thinking about all there is to look forward to. She has worked so hard in high school and the world is now so open for her. I want to be there every step of the way on the new journey with her.
Who knows what kind of technology there will be in the next 10 years to help us connect even more from a distance. Maybe I will be a hologram sitting in her living room chair. Maybe I will have a flying car to get to wherever she is even faster. Either way, I will once again have to remind myself not to get lost in technology, but to instead use it to make my relationships stronger—instead of more distant.
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