Again you ask to play the ipod while we drive to school.    
Again I say “No,” suppressing the familiar stone of self-doubt, heavy in my stomach.
Again you say—slowly—“Yes ma’am,” face mirroring the morning clouds.
Your quietly reluctant obedience is likely fueled by a hope: 
cooperating now might earn an opportunity later. 
Not my favorite motivator.
It will have to do. 
I am longing for ten minutes of together.

I ask:  “What’s happening at school today?”
At first, a forced “Nothing.” 
Then, from the back seat: “I have three tests.” 
Followed by: “Want me to help you review while we drive?”
Your offer is declined.  
But your kindness lends light.
Soon:  “Josh is so funny, Mom.  And Mrs. Phillips is the best.”
Another voice joins in: “You wouldn’t believe what happened yesterday . . . .“
Stories are shared.
The half-risen sun blazes orange on the horizon.
And your eyes, smiling, meet mine.


  1. Way to guard your time and relationships - I love technology but those little gadgets can be relationship embezzlers, stealing opportunity for connection from us without us even noticing what is happening - until . . . until what is lost is so great that it is hard, maybe even impossible to recoup. Thank for this reminder and for sharing your call to guard moments with the rest of us.

  2. Katy. I love the phrase "relationship embezzlers!" So true. . . . . . I may have to embezzle it! ;-)
    Thanks for reading, and I'm so glad it resonates. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one with such a strong aversion to those slick little toys. And I have to wonder if my kids feel the same way sometimes about my own (very hypocritical) tendency to do the very same thing . . . .

    1. You are absolutely *not* "the only one with such a strong aversion to those slick little toys."

    2. Chris--
      I appreciate your comment.
      Even though I wrote this a few years back, my feelings haven't changed, and I'm learning that my growing dislike for all things digital isn't unusual. In fact, as I'm sure you've seen yourself, there is growing evidence that our constant exposure to digital media has a wide range of repercussions--socially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I hope at some point that the pendulum will swing, and more people (parents, teachers, students, children, leaders) will talk more about how important it is to be intentional and informed as we rely on these devices.
      Thanks for visiting my little website! I suspect that you found a link to this post via the recent her.meneutics article on a similar topic, but if you landed here via another pathway, I'd love to know how.
      Blessings, Anne Pharr


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