We were getting ready for church and I wanted to check in on my middle-school daughter. Lately, she’s had many tearful fashion crises and I was prepared to help her settle on a cute outfit. You know how girls need their moms for stuff like that…
Before I could even knock, she bounced out wearing a scarf, boots, flowy sweater, coordinating jewelry, messy bun…
“Wow, you look great! Love your outfit!” I said, finally making eye-contact. No sign of tears.
“Yeah- I looked on Pinterest and found this look.”
I headed to the kitchen to finish making breakfast.
When I arrived, the smell of something sweet met me in the doorway.
“Yum. What’s cooking?” I directed the question at my older daughter who was standing near the computer desk.
“Muffins. I found a recipe online.” She continued looking at the screen and mumbled what sounded like “bake 23-25 minutes”.
“Awesome. Thanks for doing that! Big help.”
I walked away with an open block of time and an unsettling feeling that I’m getting Googled out of a job.
In the time that it takes me to switch a load of laundry, my girls can get online and learn all about starting their period or Ten Ways to Get and Keep a Boyfriend.
When I think my boys are doing their homework, Twitter and Instagram can affirm their emotions, justify their behavior, and feed their insatiable appetite for being “liked”.
I’m feeling a bit like a dinosaur…
Oh, you and I know it’s so much more meaningful to interact with and learn from a real person, but I’m not sure my kids believe that.
I admit their Google mom does have a few things on me. She’s always awake, quick to answer, objective, and never emotional or judgy. No questions asked… and no lectures preached. And she has endless information on things I’ve never even thought to learn.
Who can compete with that? More importantly, who’s foolish enough to try?
I need to switch-up my game. I must adjust to the fact that my kids don’t really need me for information. They’ve got more at their fingertips than all the previous generations had in libraries.
As a 2015 Mom, I should spend more time and energy offering what Google can’t.
It’s time to remind my kids that I’ve got a niche in the market and something they need. It’s time to remind myself…
Pinterest can suggest endless outfits, but I’m the only one who can teach my daughters how to like their imperfect bodies. Only I can guide them in exploring what’s behind the insecurity and the tears.
Instagram and Twitter can give my boys entertainment and distraction, but I’m the only one who isn’t desperate to be their friend and doesn’t care if they “like” my status. I can see behind their profiles, ask the hard questions, and show them what it feels like to be really known… and yet loved.
Google can offer dating advice, but she can’t explain to my kids why breakups hurt so much or why we are all so desperate for attention. I’m the only one who can wrap warm arms around their broken hearts and cry salty tears.
Like every kid in every age, only a real person can teach them about themselves, the world, and their place in it. Only living, breathing souls can show them how to respond when there are no answers. Only real relationships can teach them about being in real relationships… with others and with their God.
Good luck with that, Siri.
So, I’m not afraid to make room for Google Mom and allow her to do what she does best (with supervision and boundaries, of course). Actually, I’m grateful for her service, for it will help me focus on my calling.
But she better know her place. Cause I’ve just been reminded of mine and here’s one thing I know…
…it would blow up the internet.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
Photo Credit: Elliot Nevills