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Facetime by Dr. Juan Harrison

Facetime by Dr. Juan Harrison
  • PublishedJuly 12, 2023

Trying to do my part in the fight against expanding waistlines I sprinkle my ice tea with artificial sweetener.  I’ve substituted diet for regular Dr. Pepper.  They don’t taste as good but it’s better than nothing.  Like a lot of you I’m not crazy about water unless I’m working in the hot sun.  Doing Facetime with the oldest son and his family out of state is not as good as seeing them in person but it’s a tolerable substitute.

My other kids live up the road.  We get to babysit, take them to movies and enjoy the annual circus visit to our town.  Sometimes we forget what life was like before cell phones.  It’s not as good as being there with the out-of-towners but instant interaction on the video screen is better than not seeing them at all.  It’s funny how us older guys keep having to adapt to changes in technology in our world.

 On the screen I get to see the younger grand out of town line up his dinosaurs and hot wheel collection for me to see as he is playing.  The teenager shows me his latest computer-generated music creation he’s putting together with a friend from back in his San Diego days.  All the while, I’m looking at Pike’s Peak and the Rockies out their patio window.  Our video journey over the years has let us watch the kids grow up in the snow of Long Island, the countryside of Tarrant County, the beaches of San Diego, and the majestic view of the mountains behind their Colorado home these days.

It’s a funny thing when you think about how we almost take for granted our time with the grands and our children who live near us.  Sometimes I’ve almost envied friends whose children all lived short distances from them.  Selfishly I’ve thought about how it would feel to have your children within arm’s reach.  Yet, like any good parent, I mostly want them to be happy.  When I think of some broken families I know where the kids rarely or never contact their parents or grandparents, I remind my wife how blessed we are to have almost daily contact with our kids.

I think what a blessing it’s been to be able to at least see the babies grow taller than Mamaw and Papaw right before our eyes.  You hear their voices change and see little whiskers start to appear.  You can’t reach out and hug them like the ones who live nearby, but it’s better than nothing.  Life changes in an instant.  Friends have had a peaceful quiet life of solitude disrupted by, “We’re here,” as children these days sometimes have to head back home for a reset in the middle of our crazy economy.  For now I’ll just have to be satisfied with seeing the out-of-towners on the phone and getting daily updates from life in the mountains.  Maybe I better enjoy these days of just me and Mamaw and the neighbor’s dog as our company.  Never know when the out-of-state plates might come cruising down the driveway.  Look Ma, no more Facetime.

By Dr. Juan Harrison




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