This summer, we bought James his first cell phone in anticipation of him walking alone to high school (just across the street) this Fall. He seemed to get the hang of it fairly quickly, and has developed a strong preference for texting versus actually talking. And as you all know, it’s sometimes hard to gauge emotions through a text…
Today I pulled into the loading zone at Lowe’s to pick up an already-paid-for order, and noticed that Ian and Donovan had both fallen asleep. I made a snap decision. “James, stay with the boys for just a second,” I said, turning on my flashers. “I just need to wheel the cart out and load the van, but text me if either of them wake up or if there is any kind of emergency and I’ll be out in a split second.”
“Sure thing Mom,” replied James. He slipped his phone out of his pocket, starting up Minecraft.
“No Minecraft,” I said firmly. “Texting only, in case I need to get a hold of you.” And with that, I hustled inside.
About 30 steps later, as I was standing first in line at customer service, I got my first text. “Sorry,” I said to the cashier. “I just have to check this in case it’s the kids. I left the car running…” I looked down.
ME: What’s going on?
JAMES: Ian is sleeping.
ME: I know.
I turned back to the cashier. “Sorry, so I’m here to pick up–” My phone buzzed again.
JAMES: Mom, Donovan is sleeping too.
“–an order for Michaela.” Buzz.
JAMES: They are both still asleep.
ME: I will be out in just a minute.
“I’m so sorry, my son is kind of new at texting,” I said again. “I’m not trying to be rude and keep looking at my phone.” The cashier smiled politely and came back a moment later with a cart full or equipment (a story for another time). She asked, “Can you confirm the amount of bars and fencing is correct?” “No problem–” Buzz.
JAMES: Come look at the car.
JAMES: I think it is running out of gas.
JAMES: MOM THE CAR NEEDS GAS.
ME: No it doesn’t, it’s fine. I’ll be out in a second!!
JAMES: How much gas does the car need?
“I’m sure you counted it right, it’s great,” I said again. “Okay, just sign here,” she pointed to a screen. “And I need your ID.” Buzz.
JAMES: I think Ian is hungry.
ME: Is he crying?
ME: James only text me if somebody is crying!!
I turned to the cashier as I left. “Thank you, so sorry about all of this.” Buzz.
JAMES: Ok I love you.
She called after me. “Ma’am…ma’am!” I turned around, cart in one hand, phone firmly wedged in the other. I was that woman. “Ma’am, you’ll need to go around. That is the entrance!”
I got to the van and started loading up. Everyone was still asleep. James peered around the corner of his seat. “Did you find everything okay? You were in there a really long time!”
I looked at my phone. “James, it’s been 8 minutes.” I slid into the driver’s seat. Buzz.
JAMES: I’m hungry for lunch.