A smartphone. That’s what my grandkids called the complicated gadget in my hand. When my old cell phone died, everyone insisted I needed one. But was I smart enough for a smartphone? I wasn’t sure. “How do I dial it?” I asked the man at the store.
“You just touch the phone icon,” he said, “and the dial screen pops right up.”
“I see,” I said.
But why did it have to be so complicated? I hoped to stay in touch with my grandchildren. The older they got the more I felt like I was falling behind. Kids these days seemed to spend all their time fiddling with these crazy things. I wanted to keep up.
My new device was a hit when I met the family for lunch a few days later. “Your phone is awesome, Nana,” 11-year-old Hannah announced. She immediately asked to examine it and started tapping away at the screen. By the end of the meal she’d taken dozens of pictures and found games I didn’t even know were there.
At home later I couldn’t help thinking about when Hannah was small. Back then I was the one who showed her how to do things. Did she still need me like that? We didn’t see each other as often as I liked. Maybe she didn’t love me as much anymore.
It might have been all that self-pity, but a few days later I wound up in bed with a stomach virus, feeling achy and miserable. My fancy smartphone sat on the night table next to me. For all its bells and whistles it couldn’t get my grandchildren to call me. No one did that anymore. Maybe I was just too old-fashioned.
I know things have to change, God, I thought. But I wish the love could stay the same.
My thoughts were interrupted by an annoying beep from the night table. My smartphone. I frowned at the screen. A new icon had popped up. I had a text message. I tapped the icon. The message appeared. “Dear Nana,” it read, “I love you. I love you more than anything!!!!!!! ♥ Hannah.”
I couldn’t believe it. It was like magic! No, it was like an answer to prayer. Tomorrow I would figure out how to send her a message in return. Pretty soon love would be flying back and forth. People said my phone was smart, but it wasn’t half as smart as my grandkids.