I lose my phone on a daily basis. For about 3-4 horrifying minutes and then I find it again and all is well. The other day, I lost my phone and for the life of me, could not find it. Anywhere. It was tragic. I was beside myself. I turned my house upside down to such an extent that it looked like I was cleaning for Pesach. After 4 hours of searching I finally gave up. Well, my husband made me give up because my kids were hungry and playing ‘let’s find mommy’s phone’ was getting boring and seriously bordering on child abuse. After dinner and bath, I put my kids to bed, did one last round of scrounging for my phone that was MIA and went to bed. On time. Without playing Candy Crush.
In the morning, when P woke up, I gave her some books instead of my phone since my frantic search yielded nothing, and she was confused but still happy. It didn’t keep her occupied long enough for me to go back to sleep as per our morning routine, so I forced myself to get up. I spent the most delicious 15 minutes with her cuddling, reading books and getting dressed. Ever since she started going to day-care I don’t get to spend much time with her on her own, and it was seriously amazing. She is usually so over-powered by her high-energy brothers that she just blends into the background in her efforts not to get squashed, plummeted, and stuffed into her brothers’ imaginary jail.
At that point, N walked into P’s room and was shocked to find me there. He immediately interrogated P about the whereabouts of the phone, and was a bit disappointed when she had nothing for him. He then announced that he too wants to be cuddled and parked himself on the unoccupied side of the huge bean bag chair that we were reclining on. L came in last, probably woken by the vigorous giggling that was coming from P’s room, and to my surprise, jumped on top of us shouting “mommy sandwich”… This experience was surreal. Not that I don’t cuddle with my kids, but usually we are sitting on the bean bag chair all huddled in front of my phone listening to the wheels of the bus for the four hundredth time. Squishing their faces and tickling them was such pure joy that I actually forgot how upset I was.
A little while later, it proved to me that not having a phone can render you with some technical difficulties. I wanted to call my husband and remind him that school started a bit later today and that I would need the car for the morning. But I couldn’t. We don’t have a home phone, so calling is difficult without the iPhone. We then had breakfast together, and since I couldn’t check my emails and update my Facebook status, I ate breakfast with them, which my kids found hilarious since they realized that mommy too likes Captain Crunch cereal (don’t tell my personal trainer). For my family, they only experience an phone-free mommy once a week, on Shabbos, but since this day has such a different routine anyways, they treat it as holy and as a day where they get their mommy and daddy all to themselves without the interruptions of life.
The rest of the day went pretty smoothly despite by lack of communication with the world, but I realized how much I like hanging out with my kids, listening to them talk among themselves and try to problem solve on their own. I realized how much they love my attention, my real full-blown attention without me simultaneously typing an email. It’s crazy how involved we get with our technology-based lives, that looking up from the phone becomes an inconvenience. Don’t get me wrong, I was extremely happy to find my phone, but was super careful this morning not to check my emails until the munchkins were off at school. And you know what the funny thing is? The world was just fine without me for 12 hours. Life went on, emails went unanswered and Facebook statuses weren’t updated, but my kids were ecstatic. They were my priority for 100% of the time that they were home and no email is worth that.