A couple of cards I made a few weeks ago for a little class I put on at a friends house
Robbie and Amy have been home for Easter and are now back in their respective uni cities, on the home strait of this years studying.
A week before they come home for the Easter break
Picture the scene
Facebook private message at 1.30am - 'mum - I keep coughing and don't stop until I am sick, then I can't take a deep breath in' this message I didn't spot immediately as I was in bed
I woke at 7 in the morning, checked my messages and immediately panicked
I tried all electronic means of contacting the son, rang several times and with each unsuccessful attempt at some kind of two way communication that panic rose just a little bit more
We had to pop over to Leeds to pick Amy up to come home and for the entire journey I was plugged in and switched on, awaiting some message back, thinking all the way that we could nip across the breadth of the country from Leeds to Liverpool should the boy need his mum.
No reply came until much later - he had been fast asleep all day and had been totally oblivious to all my futile efforts at communication, he now knows the procedure for registering and seeing a doctor and he has medicine, crisis has been averted
But nothing - absolutely nothing will appease me until I can lay my palm across his forehead, feel his temperature, check the usual, see and hug him, in person
I recalled a conversation I had quite recently in which I was reminded of a time where the communication technology of today didn't even exist, and it wasn't that long ago !
In fact it is in my memory
My mum and dad went through all this when I left home to work in London. My mum became particularly adept at deciphering the tones in my voice and assessing if I was actually 'fine' or whether in fact I was utterly miserable but trying to put on a brave face. This telepathic skill remains with her today, so I actually resort to texting if I don't want to worry anyone, the joys and lies told by that innocuous icon - the smiley face !
I am sure there were plenty of situations in my youth, that, had my mother known about, would have landed me in trouble with my dad - for worrying my mum, but, I lived, in tact, all limbs still attached and my parents went about their business none-the-wiser
This age of instant messaging, of always being contactable, of mobile phones and ipads being permanently attached to one's person like an extra appendage is convenient, and we are able to share so much - with our friends and our families and publicly but they are oh so worrying when the person you are attempting to contact is actually incommunicado
Twenty years ago if you didn't answer your phone, you were out, actually living your life, going about your business and it was no big deal, nothing to worry about, but, today, if one method of communication fails, we try another, and another and another until we have worried ourselves into a frenzy of 'what i'fs'
All manner of terrifying and utterly irrational scenarios race through your head ( all those things your mother warned you about happening should you forget to put on your clean knickers)
Texting, messaging, facebook, facetime, they all have their place but nothing compares to face-to-face.
Must dash - just received a photo on messenger - the boy now has a rash !!!