Connecting Because We’re Disconnected

The other night John, Jacob and I went to visit some new friends we’d met at our church. They have a little boy just two months older than Jacob and the last time we met, the boys had a whole lot of fun playing together. This time wasn’t very different—except there was more hugging.  The other little boy thought Jacob’s head was really fun to hug. I have to say, I agree.

 

Probably because this time we (the parents) were on the floor with the two of them, there were only a couple of times that they had conversations with one another. And any time one of us (the parents) commented on how cute it was, they’d stop talking, look at us, and start doing something different. Oh, well. We still had a good time.

 

After we got home, I was on kind of a high. This couple is so grounded, so smart, and so much fun. Their little boy is super sweet, plus he has curly hair, which, on my hierarchy of baby cuteness is a very close third to 1) Jacob and 2) our friends’ babies (which he also falls under). We really enjoy this family’s company, but there was something more to the evening that I couldn’t put my finger on. A few hours later, I figured it out.

 

No one answered a call, sent a text, or checked an email during our entire visit. We were completely present to one another. And it felt so good.

 

I can’t say I’m entirely innocent, but most of the time when I’m with other people, I keep my phone out of the way. If I need to make a call or answer a text, I acknowledge what I’m doing, apologize for the interruption, and get it done with quickly.

 

I’m amazed when we have friends over or are out with people, and the same courtesy isn’t offered. It’s more texting than calling. So often I’ll have a friend communicating with someone else when they’re supposedly spending time with me. I think the assumption is that we’re friends and we can be casual with one another. But a visit with me is not a time to make plans with someone else. What that does is say to me, “Hey, you’re cool, but I have something more important going on that takes precedence.” Not okay.

 

I’m unsure as to what to do about it, because it seems such common practice and everyone else seems to accept it. But it doesn’t sit right with me, and this evening was a reminder of how great visiting with friends can be when we’re disconnected from everything else.

 

This is the kind of courtesy, attentiveness, and friendship I want to teach Jacob, and the only way I can do that is to model it myself—and encourage my friends to do the same.

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