What Cellphone Does Your Father Need?

GenerationsIf you look at the picture above you’ll find the not quite two year-old version of me, my father, my paternal grandfather and great-grandfather and my maternal grandfather.

My guess is forty-three years ago none of us had the foresight to imagine that one day the baby in that picture would write a blog post about watching the Kings win the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years, cellphones and social media.

I could provide answers for all of us. I could tell you what I thought and what my dad and grandfathers thought and be confident that I was spot on but some of you would call or write me and comment upon my rich imagination so I’ll opt for none of us had that much foresight.

Maybe I should apologize to my father for that or complain that he didn’t invent Google, Apple, Cisco or some other tech titan. Really, you could have given me a tech empire to run and maybe now I’d be the billionaire that owned two or three sports teams.

What Cellphone Does Your Father Need?

Confession I used What Cellphone Does Your Father Need as a headline because the social media and SEO experts tell us that we should always use a headline that is going to generate interest from people and search engines.

With Father’s Day around the corner and the general need for people to use a cellphone it has to be a winner right. 😉

Last night I didn’t just watch the Kings beat the Rangers with my family. In between periods and during commercials I used my phone to check Facebook and Twitter to see who was saying what about the game.

It was more for personal than professional reasons because those platforms enabled me to share the experience with millions of others. That doesn’t mean family wasn’t enough for me because it certainly is. I spent most of the game with my head up and eyes focused on the television screen.

When the Kings finally won in the second overtime we jumped up and yelled and danced around the room. It was silly and it was fun.

I made a point to tell my daughter her prediction about the game going into double overtime was right. She smiled at me and I watched her and her brother celebrate but I didn’t take any pictures.

That was intentional.

I wanted to enjoy that moment live and not via a little box.

What You Remember and What You Think You Remember

Later that night when my teenager was doing his best to prove that I have more patience than Job I thought about my grandfathers. Don’t know what made me think about them but something did.

I thought about how unfortunate it was that I never got a chance to speak with any of my great grandparents as an adult. While I have a serious chunk of memories about many of them most of what I know is from my parents and grandparents.

But I got a lot of time with my grandparents as an adult and my grandfathers and I spoke quite a bit. On separate occasions they both sat with me to talk about being a father, to hear what I had to say and to share their insights with me.

And of course they loved to talk about their great grandchildren.

They would have loved to have been there to see the kids last night and during so many other moments. I know because they both spoke with me about what would happen when they were gone.

As I lay in bed drifting off to sleep I tried to remember if I had ever watched a ballgame with my great grandfather but I couldn’t come up with anything.

But I had ample memories of sports with the grandfathers.

I don’t have to close my eyes to see us gathered around the TV listening to Howard Cosell while we watched a boxing match. Don’t have to do it to remember baseball, football or basketball games either.

Those are all ingrained in memory.

But I’ll confess that sometimes I look at my kids and think about how different some of their memories will be in the future because our cellphone pictures and videos will help immortalize the moments.

One day my great great great grandchildren won’t wonder what Grandpa Josh sounded like or how he dressed. They’ll have video to fill in the blank spots.

That is kind of cool.

But I still hope they remember to put the electronics down and enjoy the moment live.

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