Vacation, Cell Phones & Family

On Monday, Stephanie, her mother Leah,  and I left the Western Kentucky area and drove south with our boys Bradon and Jackson.  Although the overall goal was to vacate & vacation, we had several sub-goals as well. 

Recently life has been fast and furious if you know what I mean.  We have had fewer hours together as a family and far more things to stress about.  So you can probably assume what our intentions were in getting out of town.

We first drove to Jackson, TN where Steph and I went to college.  We loved our time at Union Univeristy in the early 90’s and we love sharing those stories with the boys.  After a short tour, and a verbal commitment from Bradon to attend Union (LOL) we took the family to the Casey Jones Villiage for a buffet country cooking mea.  Awesome.  While there we bumped into some additional family for a few added smiles.

Then we drove to Memphis for the remainder of our vacation.  When we arrived at the hotel, we spent the rest of the evening in the hotel pool and hot tub.  Our sons love the pool.  I love the hot tub.

Today we went to the Memphis Zoo, which I was quite pleased with I might add.  And this leads me to my point. 

I have learned over time that its a bad idea to spend a great deal of time on vacation talking on my phone.  I’m one of those iPhone users who can spend ever waking minute on the phone if left unchecked.  Steph is very willing to be my accountability partner in this area.  So I stayed off the phone for the most part.

While at the zoo I noticed something.  Something that bothered me for my own parenting.  Over and over I saw dads, and moms mind you, talking business on their phones while their kids ooed and awed over the animals at the zoo.  One 5 or 6 year old boy said, “mama, mama, mama… while she explained to her assistant how to file some form.”  She missed everything he was trying to show her.  And her memories of that day will be so much different than his.

I wonder how many times I have been her.  How many times have I put the needs of whoever was on the other side of the phone line above the needs of my family.  How many times have I been updating Twitter or Facebook and missed the real experience that I was there to experience?

I was convicted to say the least.

So I recorded a voicemail that said I was on vacation… gave another staff person’s cell number for emergencies… and decided to stay off the phone.

It has been awesome.  I saw everything that my boys saw.  Most of the time I saw it first… and had the pleasure of leading them through the zoo instead of just following them.

Then tonight we went to a Grizzlies game and saw them play the Houston Rockets.  The boys had a blast.  And I had a blast being with them.

I held hands with Stephanie… and didn’t watch the GrizzGirls cheerleaders, if you know what I mean.  We yelled at the bad calls, tried to get on the jumbo screen and even got the mascott’s autograph.

Now were back at the hotel.  The boys are asleep.  Steph and her mom are talking.  And I’m taking a break in the lobby.

It has been a good day… a very good day.  And I am fulfilled.

Have you ever missed a good day by being unwilling to put down the phone?  I have.