He was one of them.
I can't recall if it was the brick-in-the-bag variety or the one he eventually graduated to (a "car phone," per se, as that little analog treasure of bolts was wired into his car and mounted, complete with the curly cue cord). But it seemed pretty cool at the time. I didn't even have a cell phone till about 1998, and I questioned if I could handle the technology and yearlong service commitment.
Twelve years of marriage and two kids later, the man hates service contracts and swears by the simple, pay-as-you-go phone. Getting him to turn on his ringer would be akin to the second coming of Christ, and I've pretty much given up trying to text-message the man. He rarely answers.
The kids and I are another story.
I've fallen hard for my iPhone (I'm crossing my fingers an iPad 2 will spill onto my lap soon) and have come to depend on instant accessibility to communicate with family, friends, teachers, you name it. It's also been a godsend for ants-in-the-pants kids at restaurants. Angry Birds and YouTube have been a lifesaver to us, not to mention fellow diners. And I can't get over my 4-year-old's dexterity and how swiftly he can work that thing. (It reminds me of teaching my mom the basics of the VCR back in the early '80s, who insisted we needed to record programs at the specific volume we'd like for playback later. Even at 5 a.m.)
Sometimes I wonder, though, if I shouldn't let the kids be so connected.
But my son did something the other day that kind of shocked me. Pleasantly.
He's a Disney World fanatic. Actually, more like a Disney World transportation system fanatic. Every day, he questions me at length about why the Boat Bus (Disney Cruise Line bus), Magical Express Bus (Disney's airport shuttle) and Ep-i-cot Bus (AKA Epcot/resort buses) do not come through our area or, more importantly, our neighborhood. He has die cast models of each, a mini-monorail system and is pretty sure Santa screwed him over last Christmas because he didn't get any of these in the remote-controlled variety. Our breakfast conversation often begs questions such as, "Have you ever laid down on the monorail track at Disney and gotten runned over?"
So, as I was hurrying to get ready for work one day, Jake egged me on to hand over my phone. He disappeared while I was drying my hair, but came back a bit later.
"Here, Mom," he said as he gave it back. "This is for you."
And for a moment, I felt like I got to look through his eyes a bit.
It made me smile.