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In the Moment

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Picture courtesy of Microsoft Office

Dear Very-Important-Man,

I realize that you are very, very important. And I imagine that you were on a very important phone call when you flew through the preschool parking lot this morning in your very expensive SUV. It must have been important because I also noticed that you weren’t paying attention to your kids in the aforementioned parking lot. I know this because I nearly ran over your little girl, around age two, who darted into the parking lot while you were impatiently shooing your son, around age four, out of the car. All the while….talking on the phone. Your daughter then proceeded to drop her lunch as she was crossing in front of me, crouched down to get it, tripped, and picked herself up. Knowing that you missed it as you were still on the phone.

Obvious safety issues aside, I was especially shocked to see that your very important phone call continued as you dropped both children to their respective classrooms, returned to your SUV, and spun out of the lot. As I wasn’t in either classroom, I would like to believe that you kissed your kids goodbye before getting back to the important tasks at hand.

I love my phone. A. Lot. And I too have a very important job. Two, actually. And one of those is being a parent. Parenting requires that we be present for our kids. Really present. In the moment. That’s not to say that issues won’t come up that must temporarily take priority. It just doesn’t seem as though a phone call ought to pull rank during those few morning moments with your kids.

And don’t think for a moment that your kids aren’t wondering why you aren’t focusing on them…

What else are you missing while you are on your very important phone calls?

Frume Sarah

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Shellie Halprin permalink
    Thursday, 17 February 2011 11:41 pm

    It is women like that who “forget” that their children are in the back seat of the car and leave them there all day while parked at work, only to find them dead at 5 pm. I’ve often wondered what motivates women like that to bother having children at all.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:30 pm

      I think this might be a little different insofar as this guy just seemed oblivious.

  2. Friday, 18 February 2011 12:31 am

    Love your tone!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:30 pm


  3. Lili permalink
    Friday, 18 February 2011 12:34 am

    An extremely valid lesson for all. Can’t we get back to the phone free times in our cars? My kids and I had our most “deep” and heartfelt talking while on our way somewhere, without distractions from phones. Can we get that back? Our children are growing older every day and time is too precious to waste. We are their models and mentors, maybe we should let the rest of the absent minded people know this!!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:32 pm

      In my profession, that is known as “car talk.” And it is VERY important time. By not having to look directly at the other person, it makes is a bit easier to open up about serious topics.

  4. Friday, 18 February 2011 5:48 am

    Very well said!
    Why is it that so many parents allow their adult friends and associates to take precedence over their own children?

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:34 pm

      As Kohelet taught, there truly is a time and place for everything. There are times when friends, associates, etc. must take precedence over kids. And I think it is an important lesson for kids to learn.

      But those are the exceptions.

  5. Debbie Garcia permalink
    Friday, 18 February 2011 7:03 am

    This very important man using his “minutes” to have very important conversations with someone. As parents, our children are ALWAYS learning from us, even when we are not teaching. What lessons and priorities is he teaching? The “minutes” we have with our children are precious, and safety issues aside, when he does want to speak with his kids, he may just get a “busy signal”. Talk. Listen. Kids are amazing and quality time happens when you least expect it.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:36 pm

      You are showing your age, my friend. Kids these days don’t know from a busy signal. (Unless they are calling Bubbe- and ZaydeGiraffe.)

  6. Friday, 18 February 2011 8:26 am

    Although I don’t have children, I’ve seen Moms and Dads talk on the phone as their small children scurry toward a moving escalator. Because the children are so small, they can’t comfortably reach the hand rails and therefore lean forward to do so – all the while, Mom and/or Dad are on the phone. More than once I’ve had to rescue a child from falling down a moving flight of stairs only to hear their parent say, “Hold on a minute – So-and-So, get over here!!” Very disturbing.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:46 pm

      Parenting requires an awful lot of concentration, energy, common sense, and plain-old good luck.

  7. Saturday, 19 February 2011 9:32 pm

    A very good reminder for us! I love talking to my mother on the phone, and usually catch her before she heads off to work. Lately, though, that timing has dovetailed with my toddler’s morning routine, and he has made it very clear that either he gets to talk to grandma as well (I put her on speakerphone) or no one talks to grandma.

    And that morning time is really so precious and important that even though it’s hard to change my habits (ugh), my morning call to mom is taking a backseat. For now.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 24 February 2011 10:52 pm

      On the other hand, as my buddy, Tevye, is wont to say: how wonderful that he wants to speak with his bubbe.

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