I remember the first text message I ever received. I was a high school senior and already in bed when my phone lit up with an image I had never seen before. It was from a guy who after meeting me once, made an unannounced nine-hour drive from his house to come visit. Yes, dear reader. There was a time when I didn’t only adorn workout clothes accessorized with a bits of baby fluid.
After such a grand gesture, of course we ended up dating. I remember typing away at night. Back then you had to touch the dial buttons several times to get the right letters to come up. Today, I could probably change a diaper and run a brush through my unwashed hair in the time it used to take me to send one text. Yet we still typed away.
We are the texting generation. It’s easy, quick and gets the point across.
I do a lot of things out of convenience. I get my groceries delivered, I buy about 90% of our household items through Amazon Prime and even have a mobile grooming van come wash our dog.
It’s possible to make the necessities of life more convenient. What’s not possible is making relationships more convenient. They just aren’t created that way. They will not survive on texts alone.
I know this because I’ve let too many friendships die from not picking up the phone the old fashioned way and speaking to someone on the other end.
Over the past few months, a friend has called me quite often. She doesn’t know if I am at one of our eight-plus doctor’s appointments a week or not, but she calls any way. She might not know it, but she has been fighting for our relationship to survive. And I’m grateful.
She’s reminded me that friendships are comprised of the time you put into them. She’s reminded me that there will never be a convenient time to make or take a phone call, especially in this phase of life.
So, last week, when another friend called while I was in the middle of feeding our seven-week old, I picked up the phone. I knew my toddler would destroy something while we talked. I was right—he climbed on a table and broke a vase. But vases are replaceable. And when a high school friend called while I was in between pre-school drop off and a physical therapy, which is when I was planning on getting some work done, I picked up the phone because the conversation we had was more important than the assignment that was due.
Work will always be there, chores will always be there, but your friends may not be. Take the call, make the call.
Friends, family, I’m going to be better about this.