Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baby Sisters

This past week my baby sister gave birth to her first child.  I say "baby sister".  She's no baby.  At 22 years old she's young woman and now a mother.  So, now being the mother that she is and the young woman that she is, it's hard for me to grasp the fact that my baby sister is in fact old enough to be at the stage in life that she and I currently find herself.  Not that she is incapable of being this age but that I am not so capable of understanding and maybe accepting that she is this age.  Regardless, she is and now has a baby boy to raise of her own.  This brings up an interesting point, as far as temporal oddities are interesting...

I was 13 when my sister was born.  The birth of my sister was a life changing event for me.  There are 2 lives:  The life before her birth and the life after.  I don't want to imply that one was better or more satisfying than the other but as far as lives go mine has been more...enriched...since she began her life.  She, on the other hand, has only had one life with me as her brother.  An oddity that I'm sure isn't very significant to her at all.  It, to her, simply is a fact of her life...but not one of mine...because of the 2 lives thing.

My wife and I have 2 boys but this story really isn't about the boys or wives.  We also have a daughter.  My sister was about 8-10 years old when my first child was born and my daughter now is 10 years old as my sister has now had her first child.  My oldest boy is about as old as I was when my sister was born, and I am about the same age as my mom when she gave birth to my sister.  On another note, my brother was about the same age as my daughter is now when our baby sister was born....not to confuse you.

 It's odd how all these events seem to have some sort of mathematical or temporal linkage between them.  Maybe it's the clockwork behind the face of our existence or maybe it's just chance and luck.  It is interesting at any rate and does make for blog material interesting or not.

Back to my sister...
     She, without a doubt, will be an excellent mother to Ryne and a wife to Blake.  How could I possible know that?  I know her.  I knew her before she was born and I talked to her while she was still in our mothers belly.  I was there when they brought her home as a baby from the hospital.  I fed her and changed her diapers.  I played and sang to her.  I scolded her when it was necessary.  She has slept in my arms and curled up next to me on the couch.  I know her and love her.  As my parents and I have done for her, so shall she do for her children.  So, how do I know that she will be excellent?   She is my baby sister.   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Things About Technology

Do you own an electronic device of some sort?  iPhone or iPad, perhaps?  How about any kind of cell phone or electronic device that you keep with you at all times?  I think that these days most of us do have some kind of electronic gadget on us or around us on a daily basis. 
As I'm writing this blog, I'm doing so on a laptop computer.  It's nice and sleek; light and strong.  I have my iPhone sitting right here beside me on the desk playing music through my SOL Republic headphones which are perched atop my noggin.  In my briefcase, Saddleback Leather briefcase that is, I have my iPad 2 and a digital camera, both of which I constantly use for work as well as play.  In a nutshell, my life is a digital life.
It seems like every thing I do these days involves using some sort of digital device.  Even this past winter I took my cell phone out deer hunting with me.  What kind of a world do we live in when you go deer hunting with a cell phone???!!!  I mean really!  Anyway, I guess this IS the world we now live in...a world of high speed technology.  Does it benefit us?  We all have Facebook or Twitter and we stay in contact with each other but do we really benefit from this electronic social connection?  Why do we feel compelled to post the mundane events of our lives on Facebook?  "Going to the store!"  "Little Jimmy stumped his toe!" forth and so on.  Is it because we feel a need to share our lives with others?  Is it due to some self seeking satisfaction we get from having other people comment on these daily happenings as if they were breaking news?  It's an interesting and new environment that we are now living in.  An environment where people...practically strangers...share detailed information with each other through a totally electronic medium. 
These new electronic environments such as Facebook seems to draw out the good and bad in people.  On the good side, people are generally quite nice to each other online.  Especially to the people they know or are "friends" with.  I chit chat with people online all the time that I haven't seen or heard from personally in years.  All very pleasant conversations.  On the bad side of things, I have, from time to time, been in a public place with some of my "friends" from Facebook and all we would say to each other was a polite "Hi".  The ease of this communication can also lead to "connections" that probably shouldn't be made.  It seems strange to learn so much about someone and about their daily lives and for them to know so much about my life, that I've posted on Facebook,  and when we run in to each other in passing somewhere all that is exchanged is a quick "Hi" or a nod and smile. 
Facebook and other forms of electronics have allowed us to have a glimpse into each other's lives but are we better off?  Do we feel closer together as friends; as a community?  It's an interesting thought. 
The other day I was at home sitting on the couch watching TV.  I had my phone beside me and I was surfing the Web and Facebook on my iPad.  I looked up and the TV was on, Crystal was sitting on the couch beside me on her phone...on Facebook..., Baily was playing in the floor with a cell phone laying beside her, Walter was sitting on the other couch and was texting, and Garrett was in the sofa chair watching TV and peeking at his phone from time to time.  No one was talking to each other.  Very strange.  I wonder in how many households this kind of scene takes place.  We do get out as a family and do things that don't involve electronic.  We go bowling, throw the football or baseball around, we work out in the yard, but in one of the most intimate of settings..the family living room...we were all on our gadgets. 
My point here is:  Are we better off now as a society, as people, as families with the aid of these new technologies?  Are we changing who we are as humans to include these devices.  Are we adapting to them?  We seem to have formed a some sort of symbiotic relationship with these devices.  We can't seem to live without them and nor them without us. 
In conclusion, I have recognized that I have an almost addiction-like to use these electronics.  Therefore, I will now and in the future make a conscience effort to relate to people on a personal basis and not rely on electronics solely.  Certainly, I will encourage my family to do the same.  We will set rules about cellphone use in the home.  These things are our tools for us to use at our convenience and not at the expense of personal time with family or real friends.