It is 7:49 pm – or at least it was when I wrote this. A typical school night … I am on the couch, home from umpteen carpool trips to and from the track, the middle school, the soccer fields … my husband isn’t here. He is at the golf course. It is quiet … well, sort of. The dog is resting at my feet and for once isn’t making any of the obnoxious licking noises that he has a habit of making in the evening, but other than that … it is quiet. No TV. No distant wash machine rumble. No telephone ringing. No neighbor’s lawnmower mowing. I take a moment to look up from my iMac and notice that while my three children are all near by, they too are silent.
My thirteen year old is the closest – she is sharing the couch with me, although she is painfully careful not to let any part of her body accidentally touch mine. She is texting on her iPhone (yes, I said iPhone – don’t judge me … it works for my family).
Two chairs away, in his father’s usual evening domain, my six year old is making funny faces at the game he is playing on his iPod Touch (again, yes, he is six and has an iPod Touch – two actually, but that’s a whole ‘nother story).
A little bit farther away, my eleven year old is happily snuggled into a corner with her iPad (well, technically it’s mine, but you know how that goes). She has on headphones and is intently watching reruns of “Make It Or Break It”.
And we have peace. For at least a little while. I know, I know … we are not gathered around the table for a rousing game of Monopoly, nor are we out riding bikes together, or picnicking, or doing any of those “traditional” family activities, but we are together … and we have peace. There is no fighting. No arguing. And I have my children home, in the same room as me, breathing the same air. And it makes me happy. And all at once I realize that technology and tradition can coexist.
Oh, and speaking of tradition … the phone just rang … it is my husband. I promised him I’d have dinner ready when he got home so I must rise and don my apron – for real – I do wear an apron when I cook. And I set my iPod up on a little stand and let Cooks dot com guide me through hollandaise 101 and I wonder how people used to make the velvety sauce from printed words alone. Impossible, I say out loud. What did people do way back then?? Eat lumpy hollandaise? And again … I am thankful that technology and tradition can coexist and I wonder if Steve Jobs ever realized that his vision and innovation would help a twentieth century family achieve harmony?