Hey Dad,

We’ve been home from our south Speaking tour for just over a week. We left Florida and it’s been rainy and cold ever since. But I’ve still been basking in the memory of vacation and uninterrupted family time (but it’s growing fainter by the second).

While away I made a mental note of something I saw to share with you when I got back home. It was sad to me…but something I see played out too often.

It happened one evening as the sun was setting and the lampposts were just beginning to glow. I was with Jed (10) and Cal (12) doing the dad/son thing when I found myself outside a gift shop waiting for my boys to join me.

As I stood drinking in all the good feeling I noticed two little girls playing on the sidewalk enjoying the freedom to stretch and run. They were giggling and playing tag. That’s when I noticed their parents, a tired mom and dad sitting on a log bench, their faces buried in their phones.

As I watched them I saw one of the girls twirl around like Cinderella at the ball wearing a huge smile on her face. It was quick and the second she stopped her dad looked up. The twirl was over, and he missed it.

That’s the thing about smart phones, they’ve distracted us from the twirling moments. Those unannounced, unplanned, spontaneous moments of pure joy and silliness that parents used to watch as their children cried, “Watch me, Dad.”

I half wonder as I write this if children have stopped saying, “Watch me, Dad” because they know their dad is on his phone and deaf to their calls.

Dad, I’m telling you when you’re with your children, put your phone down or get rid of it because you’re missing the twirling moments. They’re brief and pass like an unexpected breeze on a Summer night…and then they vanish.

Make sure you don’t miss a single one, Dad. They’re too precious and shouldn’t be exchanged for a You Tube video about a shark.

You ‘da dad,