Blending the Modern and the Classic: Lessons from the Little One

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Watching my son on a daily basis is becoming the perfect metaphor for the ever-changing world in which we live (a most adorable metaphor, at that!) and while the constant advancements we continue to make seem to make our lives easier, at times it seems to complicate them as well.

My little man will be two in November. We are in full blown toddler stage now: ever-envolving conversation skills, always learning and finding new ways to get into trouble. This is such a fun time to be a mother; things become a lot more interesting. But here’s something crazy to think about: my almost two year old son can operate both my iPhone and my iPad. And I don’t mean just turn it on. He has no problem flying in between the screens to find his ‘favorite’ apps, playing and pausing the videos (almost always episodes of “Family Guy”. Yes, he’s that awesome :)) and losing my page on whatever ebook I’m reading at the time. He can set an alarm, play a song or take a selfie. Here’s an example of his stealthy photography skills:

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It’s actually sort of remarkable, but it also scares me. When I was a kid, the concept of anything like that wasn’t even fathomable. Now I wonder what magical things our phones will be able to do by the time it’s actually time for him to have his own, and I predict he’ll be much younger then I was when I first scored that pink Nokia I’d been pining for.

But is all this advancent really beneficial to our future generations? Will our children live to play outside like we did? Will they still build forts to serve as the castles and ships from the worlds in their imagination? Will they be content with crayons and construction paper, breaking the boundaries by coloring outside the lines in their coloring books? Or are we headed to a time which dooms us to rely on more complicated means for simple human interaction?

Lucky for me, once again my son has managed to show me there is indeed hope left for humanity. He brings me book after book from his tiny shelf, most of which are the classics that I heard as a child. No matter what he can do on anything with an Apple logo, he enjoys the same words that his momma did; the same words that so many have enjoyed for decades. There’s no ‘upgrade’ for Goodnight Moon. No app creates a world of pie picnics and cities of windows built from purple lines like Harold and the Purple Crayon. There’s no need for a wi-fi connection to read Where the Wild Things Are, my son’s personal favorite (I have a tattoo of the little King of all Wild Things with his name on it). He enjoys the magic of the stories that so many children have before him.

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I have no issue admitting that I live my life with my iPhone always close by, and probably spend too much time staring at its bright screen. I could try to defend myself, pointing out that I spend a large chunk of that time reading, writing, jamming to music, etc., but who am I kidding? Either way, I may have a slight obsession with it. But I’m definitely obsessed with moments like these:

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Another lesson on who we are becoming as people, learned alongside my tiny partner in crime.