Instant availability without continuous presence is probably the best role a mother can play. ~Lotte Bailyn
A few weeks ago, I was looking for an answer to something mundane – I cannot remember if it was for a recipe or just advice; I remember thinking “I’ll ask Mom.” It was so strange to have had this thought as she’s been gone for over two years, but there I was thinking I could just pick up the phone and call her.
I remembered how often I would reach out and call my Mom to ask her for guidance or “what should I do?” questions. Some of the questions I used to ask were “When did you know Dad was ‘the one’?” or “How much lemon juice should I add to my blackberry pie filling?” or “Was I as difficult when I was a teen as my son is now?”
My Mom would always have an answer – or at least, an opinion – when I asked her questions. Invariably, my questions would result in some interesting conversations and a chance to connect with her; it was a time for us to be in the moment
Nowadays, we have Alexa, Siri, and Google. If I ask Siri the same questions I used to ask my Mom, she would reply something like “I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that” or “Interesting question, Karen” or probably direct me to a bunch of different websites.
The intranet has made it very easy to get questions answered quickly and easily but It lacks the interpersonal connection. All the questions I asked my Mom over a period of four decades provided me with an opportunity to learn from her experience, her opinions, and her real-world experience. Those answers and insights are priceless.
Though I know I can no longer reach out to ask my Mom, I know now that her wisdom mixed with my life experience and knowledge will be of service to my own children and that my presence and allowing a safe place of trust and open-mindedness will encourage them to think “Ask Mom” first.
I’m not giving up my role to Alexa or Siri.