Friday, January 22, 2016

The Day the Boy Stopped Calling for His Dad

Several months ago, mom and I were in a restaurant. There was a large family sitting near us. The dad wanted to watch the football game while eating, so the waitress was busy trying to get to the right channel.

His teenage son said, "Dad, we've got the game on." The dad barely acknowledged him. 

As we ate, I heard the mom getting frustrated with the baby. But then, I heard something else. Distinctive talking. Proper and business like. 

I told my mom it sounded like someone was having a conversation. Sure enough, I turned around to see the dad talking into his headset.

Through that, I heard the son say, "Dad."

No response.

"Dad," this time in a firmer tone. "Dad!"

Still nothing.

"Daaad." There was a desperation in the teenage boy's voice now. He wanted to share something with his dad.

I think his dad mumbled something to him, but he never gave him his full attention. All of his attention was focused on sealing the deal on the other end of the line.

Finally, the boy was silent. He stopped calling for his dad. I guess he knew it was no use. 

My heart broke for the teenage boy. "One day, that boy is going to be a man and the dad is going to regret not creating memories with him. Is the phone that important? The phone won't be a comfort when regret washes over him for things he wishes he would have done," I said.

"The dad is engrossed in his phone, but one day all he's going to want is his arms around his son. His son may not be there."

Some thoughts that have run through my mind since that day are:

People, put down your phones! It's not worth it. You are missing out on life. You have gotten caught up in minor details while missing the big picture.