One minute. All it took was one minute, maybe even less, to miss the precious moment your wife and child just shared. Your little boy just learned to use a straw! I saw it all. Your lovely wife making sipping motions with her lips, your boy trying it and not getting it right away, the split-second surprise of cold soda getting into his mouth, and finally, their glee at the discovery of this new skill.
I, a complete stranger, clapped right along with them from across the room, as your eyes stayed glued to your phone.
I’m not judging. It could be an important message for work or it could be a new level that you’re about to unlock on Clash of Clans. Whichever the case, I’m not going to raise my eyebrow at you, but I’m sad for you.
How many milestones have you missed? How many times has your son looked to you for approval or affirmation, only to be unseen? How many times has your wife had to repeat her question because you weren’t paying attention? How many times has the dinner lovingly prepared for you gone cold?
All these missed moments are chipping away at your family’s happiness.
I don’t know you, but I want you to know that your relationship with your phone is already hurting your relationship with your family.
I want you to know, because your wife and your little boy need you to put that phone down for one minute. Look at them. Talk to them. Hug them. Share a smile.
When your wife asks you for me-time instead of screen-time, it’s not nagging or a guilt-trip – it’s a cry for help. Heed it, because she needs you back.
Your Facebook feed can wait. Instead of catching up on everyone else’s adventures, make memories of your own.
Your Fantasy draft can wait. You’ll lose a round, but you’ll win admiration from your son.
Even your boss’s email can wait. Isn’t all the work you’re doing for your family, anyway?
Because if you keep letting your family wait, guess what you’re missing?
One lifetime. The one chance we get on Earth to be with the ones we love. The one chance you get at being husband and dad.
Every now and then, detach yourself from the virtual world and be present in this one, where your wife and son are sipping cold sodas and learning new songs everyday.
*This article was first published on theAsianparent Philippines