I've started scrolling through those early posts; they set a direction that I'm still roughly following nine-and-counting years later, even through recent changes to my everyday life such as becoming a grandmother, retiring, and, now, moving to the city. And I've come across a few whose topic I think is still worth discussing, almost a decade later, especially now that my audience is a bit larger. If you don't mind, I'm going to send you back in time to read one such post today.
The topic is twofold: the post is partly about changing communication technology, but particularly as that concerns the way parents keep in touch with their adult children, with the added fillip of interest being introduced in the notion of "disturbing the kids." I'd forgotten having written this, not surprisingly, and I realised that posting it now would be the push I needed to write about something I've been thinking about ever since I got back from Rome this past February. While there, trying to communicate with my husband by text, email, voicemail, and occasionally a live phone chat, I started thinking about how technology has brought us so much closer in so many ways than when I traveled in my late teens (I once telegraphed my parents that I'd missed my flight home from London to Vancouver -- my English relatives had a phone, but no one even considered making a transAtlantic phone call, not in our budget in '71).
And yet, I thought, newly returned from Rome last February, it can take a while to get responses to those texts and emails and voicemails. Pater was pretty good at working around the nine-hour time difference, but once upon a time I could have woken him up if I really needed to talk. Now, he usually leaves his cellphone in the other room, sound turned off. And the kids? Hmmmmm. So much harder to reach out and touch someone these days. . . .Or at least, there's considerable vetting involved in that connection. Much tougher to "disturb the kids." To understand that phrase in this context, you'll have to go back and read my earlier post. I'll be waiting to hear what you think about it, and then next post, I'm going to share some examples of the way technology does and doesn't expedite connection in our family along with some worries I have about the screens we all put up in the communication stream. . .
Until then, the mic is now yours. I'm listening. . .