Real Connections

Dear J-

I’m hoping that the early drizzle isn’t indicative of what we can expect this week. Actually, scratch that — the longer we’ve been without some rain means the more pollen’s been in the air and I’ve about had it with that stuff all over everything. Playoff seasons are in swing and that means that if it wasn’t for the annual spring misery induced by various pollens I’d be ecstatic over the steady flow of news from all corners. The primary advantage of the smartphone is getting information pushed down the pipe* my way although it does lead to the kind of distracted-dad syndrome that everyone notices but me.

I want to be the best father which often means being just like my dad, and one of the lessons I learned is that your time is better spent with the kids keeping them engaged instead of pursuing your own needs at the moment. And it’s tempting with facebook on your hip or emails that you just gotta send off to attend to those needs first, the worries of the ever-connected seem to come first, win place AND show. Last night I was convinced the stupid phone wasn’t working so I called in to tech support to ask what was wrong — I learned that the network had gone down instead and I was cut off everywhere I couldn’t get a Wi-Fi signal. So naturally I panicked beyond reason and took out a short temper on the short people around me, this after the day before plunking a movie in and going off to do something else**.

I know what I need to do at any given moment but that doesn’t stop me from turtling in and doing something selfish instead, and then whining like an overpriveleged idiot when I get caught at it. The tools of distraction aren’t meant to be replacements for human interaction but that’s just what we end up using them for sometimes. The way the weekends slide by so quickly you’d think I’d take every opportunity to be there for them but my mind must think of myself as the lone wolf at 19, convinced of the glory and struggle alone and treading water far from home. In truth home is where you make it, and where you choose to be with the people you want to be around. So does that mean hanging up and unplugging?


* The internet is a series of tubes, after all. And instead of firng up a browser for WHL news I can subscribe to a Kamloops journalist’s blog (Taking Note with Gregg Drinnan, some of the best writing anywhere) to read articles on, say, the mess with the soon-to-be ex-Chiliwack Bruins in addition to scores and recaps. I’ve built my own newspaper and it already feels like 2025.

** Rule of thumb: if the movie doesn’t have a princess, whatever you are trying to distract figgy from is far more irresistibly attractive than the show.


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