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Hope is Not Lost for Kids Today

Dear tweenage girl sitting at a coffee shop table with your dad,

From my quiet windowside table I was gazing around the room when I saw you.

I doubt you noticed me – but I noticed you. You had your face buried in your tablet while your dad patiently sat silently across from you. Unlike you, he gazed around the room and watched as the staff prepared your drinks. Do you know he’s trying to connect with you?

As I continued taking quick peeks in your direction while I wrote in my journal, I felt frustration, and admittedly, anger well up inside me. “Turn off your device & talk to your dad,” I wanted to yell. But I didn’t, and you continued to scroll and type across the screen in front of you. Your dad continued to calmly scan the room.

I looked up to the cloudy sky outside, closed my eyes & sent a little prayer up that you wouldn’t waste this moment. Then I pushed my anger aside. Getting upset about the situation was pointless, and honestly, I had work to do.

Call it divine intervention, stars aligning or witchy voodoo – but less than five minutes later your dad got up to use the bathroom and I knew in my heart of hearts, it wasn’t an accident. Quickly, before I could lose my nerve, I crossed the mostly empty room and crouched down by your small cafe table.

“Forgive me,” I said, “but you’re here with your dad, right?” You looked up from your device for the first time since you’d been there and smiled – “yeah.”

Here it was, the moment I’d been waiting for…

Don’t waste if on your device,” I said sweetly while pointing at the tablet in your hands, “he won’t be here forever.Trust me.” And with that I walked back to my table by the window to continue writing.

Inside I was a knot of anticipation waiting to see what you would do, but on the outside I managed to keep it cool as I got right back to the blog post I had been writing before you arrived in the coffee shop.

Moments later it happened. You listened & took my advice. As your dad came back to the table you put down your tablet, looked him in the eyes and… talked. It was magical to watch, could you feel it?

As your names were called to come pick up the drinks you had ordered at the counter, my faith that I’d made the right choice by saying something to you was confirmed. Your dad’s drink was identical to yours – bright pink & covered in whipped cream.

Coming here, to this coffee shop, hadn’t been because of his need for an evening energy boost – it had been to connect with you, and he was trying to do that in any way he could, including ordering the same drink as you.

A little while later, as you both got up from your table to leave drinks in hand, you were still talking, your table tucked away momentarily forgotten.

This encounter could have left me feeling irritated with “kids these days, always on their devices – they don’t know how to hold a conversation anymore,” but it didn’t. You – tweenage girl with your dad – have a wonderful future with your dad in front of you.

Sincerely,

The lady sitting by the window (still a daddy’s girl at heart)

P.S. I just watched your Jetta drive away. You were still talking to your dad. Well done young lady, well done.

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