It used to be easy, my mother once said
It used to be simple, it’s true
But now there are Iphones and tablets and more
All sorts of screens now to view.
How do you manage, if never before
Have parents faced such a struggle?
Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and more
Can leave my old brain befuddled.
You see her there, face down and focused
On a screen that was never my purview
You realize the power in the palm of her hand
And that old tactics can no longer serve you.
Not going outside or walking downtown
You think of the things you know she is missing
Eye contact, exercise, great old novels
Or maybe the boys she’s not kissing (oh wait, that probably still happens).
She recoils, embarrassed, when I say something like
“TTFN” or “selfie”
But I’ll tell you right now, if she talks back,
That phone’s going up on the shelf-y.
But hold on, there’s a flip side as well
When a tale such as this is related
She’s a tech wizard it turns out and she helps
A mom whose skill building’s belated.
She knows what to do when I’m so confused
Frozen screens, copy and pasting
I just call her and plead to help me out please
Rolls her eyes at the time I’ve been wasting.
And you know what? I look at her closely and see
A girl with a good head on her shoulders
She’s bright and savvy and lively and sharp
I don’t worry about when she gets older.
So maybe the moral of the story should be
To take a step back and find
All the ways you can meet her halfway
And just let her live in her time.
photos by Barbara Paulsen at tandemechoes.com