Last night as Gen and I were chatting about the ins and outs of a high school Monday around bowls full of broccoli and pasta, my cell phone rang from across the room where it was charging. Without hesitation, she ran over to the dock and looked at it’s screen.
Excitedly she gasped, “It’s your friend Sally!”
I encouraged her back to the table, abandoning the singing phone. In complete confusion (after all she is only fourteen) I explained to her that we were eating dinner and talking with each other, and that’s why I have a voice mail.
“But we talk all of the time. We’ve had lots of time to talk. She’s your friend.”
I smiled and tried again. “And you are my daughter. We are having a conversation at dinner and it does not matter if we are talking about something as silly as marshmallow or something life or death serious- this dinner conversation with you is top priority over anything that is happening with that phone.”
“what if it’s an emergency?”
I tried to look thoughtful before replying, “then I guess her voicemail will let me know that I need to call her back.”
We finished dinner, chatting with ease about bit of everything, ranging from serious to the not so much… Sometime later she went to take a shower and I decided to call my mom to see how she was doing. (In case you’re curious, Sally was fine and I did try to call her first but just got her voicemail.)
When Gen was done with her shower and came back downstairs she saw I was on the phone and gasped in mock outrage, “I see how you are! Obviously my shower wasn’t important to you. Now I know how you feel about the priority of my hygiene.”