When I was a kid, there was this goofy science demonstration where you could attach two tin cans with a string. Supposedly, this showed us of how sound waves could travel on a device.
Each person would pull the line until it had good tension, then talk into their can. The receiver should hear the voice in their tin can a short distance away. But you could hear the voice anyway because your counterpart was only a few feet away.
I thought it was one of the worst science displays ever. Fortunately things have improved greatly.
This last weekend our family had to split in two. And we hated it. But that was the hand we were dealt.
One boy had to check in to Santa Clara College as a freshman and the other at UC Santa Barbara. This was their first move away from home. I took Max to Santa Clara and Theresa drove Zach down south. This means that each of us missed out on one of the biggest moments in our sons' lives.
The boys were focused on their move, as they should be. But Theresa and I used our iPhones to text updates, photos, and short video clips back and forth during the entire process. We had this running conversation that helped make hundreds of miles feel like next door.
As I scroll back through the notes and images now, I can't imagine getting through the weekend without these devices. I'm going to archive the conversation. It's my experience of Zach's move in, and the things that Theresa was feeling during the process.
We hear a lot about how distracted we've become because of our mobile devices. And there's truth to that. But there are moments, like this weekend when a family is trying to hang together during a big event, that I'm truly thankful for this technology.
I'll take the good with the bad in this modern age. Because if all I had were two cans and a string, I would have missed one of the biggest moments in my son's life.