How my Mom Schooled me.
I recently traveled a bit with my mom for the first time since I was young. She visited my home in Boulder for a week, then we traveled to her college-and-after home of Bainbridge Island and Seattle (she also lived in Eugene, and maybe Bellingham).
The whole time, I parented her (in some ways: I write about that weird imbalance here). I paid for food, hotel, whatever. I’m pretty together—a relatively successful businessperson, with my credit cards (she has none) and smartphone (she’s never had one) with its Google Maps.
So while I ordered Lyfts for us and made this and that happen, she merrily walked around, head up, asking folks for directions. She was cheerfully fearless about it. Everywhere, her head was up—and mine was down, figuring where we were going on Google Maps or Instagramming or whatever. At one point I was looking for a great café in my old friend Micah had recommended to me on Facebook. It was right by the famous, historic Pike Place Market. Google Maps showed it right here, glowing red, and yet I walked around and into that spot and couldn’t find it.
Finally, after 15 minutes of walking in circles, my mom said, well, maybe it’s upstairs! Something Google Maps failed to show was…kinda obvious to my mom.
And it was at that moment that (aside from laughing at myself) it all crystallized: my mom’s outmoded, old-fashioned, out-of-touch ways are, in many ways, better. More personal, more awake, more appreciative, more sensory, more present, more fun.