Monthly cell phone bill: $110 (includes unlimited texting)
Number of cell phones in the house: 6
Monthly high-speed Internet bill: $46.10
Number of computers in the house: 4
Monthly land-line phone bill: $60
Communication among family members: non-existent
Would be priceless if it occurred, but with all our technology, we have forgotten how to actually talk to one another.
Leah came home from work today and told me she hadn't know Abbie was coming home this weekend until she read it on my blog. Ben and I send each other emails daily. I text my children and they text back. We keep up with our away-at-college daughter on facebook. We get pictures of the grandbaby via picture message on the cell phones. My, the times have changed! While it's all very convenient, I'm not sure it's 100% good.
We recently added Elijah to our cell phone family plan, and when we did so, he got "the talk," and I'm not talking about the birds and the bees. "The talk" consists of making sure the child knows that the phone is not for him to spend hours talking to his friends, and certainly not to friends of the opposite gender. It is so we can keep in somewhat-constant touch with each other, we being our family. In the words of Ben, "The phone is not for you; it's for us," and that puts it so well. Our church is so big (four buildings now, with multiple floors, two kitchens, an elevator, two large auditoriums—you get the picture), I've wished for months that Elijah had a cell phone just so I could find him.
This all got me thinking about how we communicate as a family, and while we may be like ships in the night, there is one thing we do to keep communicating: we have family dinners whenever possible, and that's not easy these days. Abbie is away at Liberty U. Leah teaches and then babysits until 7:30 four nights a week. Mike doesn't get home until 8. Ben never knows his schedule until it happens. It's hard to work it out, but when we do, it's usually fun. Some of our fondest memories are of sitting around the table, listening to Ben tell stories. So even if we only get to sit down together 2 or 3 times a week, we make the effort. When Ben and I are long gone, our kids will remember and hopefully do the same with their families.
Be thankful ~