Living A Single Life Even Though We Are “Married With Children”


The other day my wife and I took one of our little granddaughter’s out to McDonald’s for lunch.  We ended up in the McDonald’s playground. It was a tightly secured playpen that was almost like a fort with several layers and obstacles for small children to play on. Our granddaughter immediately ran to it and began to play. My wife and I sat and watched as she climbed and jumped around inside this play fort.  It is interesting how often little children call for you to “watch me.” It has been so long since I was a father of small children that I have forgotten how wonderful and annoying that can be.  Yet, as hard as it is to constantly be “watching” the great feats of our kids, or grandkids in this case, it is very important for bonding and for a child’s validation.   I noted as I sat there that there were four other adult parents sitting outside the playground ‘watching.’ Or were they?  All the kids were physically secure and there was no real danger about, however, I noted that every adult there was engrossed in their smart phones. They would glance up from time to time, but it was clear that they were preoccupied with their phones. I had forgotten my phone in the car or I might have been doing the same.

A  few years ago I was eating with a friend at a Chilis restaurant. At the table next to us was  a man and his wife and four children.  As I was talking with my friend I noted, almost humorously, that none of the members of the family were talking.  All six were on cell phones busy with their own lives. Not a word was being spoken at the table.  The silence was deafening.

A brother of mine once complained to me that once he was driving some distance with one of his kids.  The car was silent the whole way except the sounds of the ticking of text messaging that was coming from his son’s cellphone. He was annoyed and said he wanted to throw that cell phone out the window. Maybe that wasn’t such a bad ideal!

We live in challenging times. The world is clamoring for our attention and often it is getting it. If we are not watchful,  we might find that we are living a single life even though we are married with children.


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