I gave my kids cell phones because I wanted them to be reachable. But I told my son to use the house phone when he was at home to save our minutes.
Yesterday, he was talking to his girlfriend on our house phone. I needed to remind him of something, so I texted him using my computer. Our service provider allows that. I don't have the brain capacity to learn such a high tech computation.
He answered, adding that he was going to bed soon, as he felt 'garbagey'. New word, but rather apt, I suppose. He was a bit under the weather. I'd noticed that much when I went downstairs to the inner sanctum of the basement's TV room to tell him to clean that pig sty up.
Well, this morning, my husband flicked on his bedroom light and told him to get up. It was what we do every school day.
I added my voice to that order when I got up.
Nothing happened, which in itself is the norm. He's a teen. Jumping out of bed early on a school day is against their personal code of honour.
Finally, his older sister came downstairs.
"What's with Alex?"
"He's not up yet," I answered.
"How do you know?"
She shrugged. "He texted me."
Oh. He texted her across the house. Hmm. I went into his bedroom, and found him peeking out of his blankets. "I'm sick," he whispered hoarsely. "And you and Dad don't care."
"Why didn't you tell us?"
"Too sick to talk."
He was warm, and a bug had been flying around his school, so this wasn't unexpected. I told him to go back to sleep, I'd deal with him later.
When I returned to the kitchen, I asked my daughter what her brother had said in his text.
"He wrote, 'I'm sick. Help. Save me.'"
So, I pondered, technology has saved the day. We would have kept yelling at him until someone got mad and it set the whole house on edge, especially since I had to drive my daughter to her university classes within the hour.
"So the cell phones earned their keep," I commented. "Don't you think that's nice?"
My daugther gave me one of those unsympathetic, older sister looks. "He's faking it."
Technological changes may be new and exciting, and we're grateful for them, but there are some things that never change.