Sunday, January 22, 2006

Can You Hear Me?

I tell my son to go to the bathroom. He does not move.
Son, can you hear me?
Yes, but I don’t have to go.
That isn’t what I asked you. Before you get dressed, go to the bathroom.
After we repeat this two more times, he goes to the restroom.

I tell my daughter to get dressed for church. She continues the computer game she is playing.
Sweet Pea, can you hear me?
Yes but I can’t save this unless I win the level.
I did not ask you if you could win or save the game. Go get dressed.
We repeat this one more time before she closes the game and goes upstairs to stare at her closet.
After I ask yet one more time, she starts to pick out a skirt. It’s progress.

Later the same day, I say, I am going upstairs to write one amazing chapter.
Instead, I go upstairs and visit a few blogs. I add myself to Mary P’s map of readers but as I view where other people are from, my computer freezes.
I reboot and go to get a drink from the kitchen.
I thought you were writing, my husband says.
I did not do what I said I would and the computer froze on me. NOW I really am going to write. It will be amazing.

I come back upstairs. I remember my uncle told me about “Google Earth.” It seems like it’d be like Mary P’s map and I want to check it out. It zooms me in to North America and again, my computer locks up. I can’t click on a thing. I turn it off and go to put a load of laundry in the washer while the computer boots up again.
I thought you were writing, my husband repeats.
I don’t listen to me any better than our kids, I reply. I said I’d stay off the internet, I went back anyway and the computer is not having it. It locked up on me again. I’m going back and THIS TIME I’m just going to open Word.

I come back and the computer is ready. I see the pretty new Google Earth icon. I click on it. I type in “Kansas”. It zooms in to Kansas and freezes. Stops. Dead. I can’t click on a thing.
I don’t go back downstairs again. I know the question that awaits me there. I grab my book to read a page while the computer reboots again. I hear a question in my mind:
Can you hear me?

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