What Are You Missing When You Are Looking Down?

This just in from Lisa... My husband and I were taking an afternoon walk today, it was beautiful! The sun was shining; a gentle breeze brushed our cheeks, and rustled the blooming leaves on the trees. Our walk took us past a ball park where a little league game was going on. We stopped and watched the game for a while. It was wonderful, took me back to the days of my own childhood; the sounds of the bat cracking, the crowd cheering, the laughing of the players and the encouragement from the coaches. Not to mention the smell of the fresh cut grass, the dust from the field mixed with the smells from the concession stand. We even defeated the purpose for our walk, and got a couple of hot dogs and sodas!

As we sat taking in the game I began to look around at the parents and other siblings watching the game. I noticed that many of them weren’t really watching the game. They were looking down at their IPhones, IPads and other devices. They were playing games, texting, watching videos etc. Many of them didn’t even look up when the others clapped, they simply cheered when they heard the rest of us. I even observed a mother texting and playing candy crush next to me. She and I had exchanged pleasantries when we sat down. She pointed out her son to me, and asked which one was ours, and how we were so on and so forth. At one point her son hit a home run and she missed it. She was right in the middle of a hard level in candy crush, or so I assume by her cursing softly. She looked up shortly after the cheering stopped and asked what happened. I explained her son got a home run; she smiled and said “That’s my little slugger!” But she missed it! Strangers cheered him on! When they leave she is going to have to lie to him when he asks excitedly “Did you see me hit that?!” I was shocked, and more than a little sad.

Behind us on the playground the same thing was happening. Mothers were pushing children on the swings while texting. Kids were calling out “Mommy, watch this!” But Mommy didn’t see she was too busy looking down at her phone.  She raised her hand waving over the phone and called out “Nice Honey!” But never saw that he leaped from the swings and landed perfectly with is hands up in the air like a gymnast.  What was even more upsetting was that HE noticed that she hadn’t really seen. That beaming face he had at his accomplishment fell, when he looked over at her and she wasn’t gazing back at him. I wanted to stand up and yell at them “Put down your phones!” You’re missing all those little moments that as your children grow up and leave, you’re going to wish you could call upon to get you through those quiet nights.