Home Phone

I read a (heartwarming? terrifying?) news story this morning about a three year old girl who saved her father’s life by walking two blocks to a fire station to get help when he fell unconscious. Her parents had taught her that she could always go to a fire station if she needed help, and she did.

I try not to read too many stories about kids Harper’s age, because it makes me anxious. My first thought on reading it was the realization that I don’t know where our closest fire station is, and it’s never occurred to me to tell Harper to go there. It also made me realize that I don’t quite know how to teach Harper about what to do in an emergency in these days of high-tech everything.

We’re thinking pretty seriously about giving up our land-line phone. We never call out on it, and even the church folks who used to use it now pretty much always call my cell. I miss it for several reasons: I liked how it felt to hold it to my ear – especially for long conversations with long-distance friends and family. I always get a kink in my neck when talking for long on my cell phone. And I miss talking to people who aren’t really calling for me – like Rob’s family; they always call his cell, and my family always calls mine, so we never get to talk to each other.

But here’s a new reason: How do I teach Harper to dial 911 if we don’t have a home phone? In an emergency, she’d have to find one of our phones – which could be in any number of pockets or bags – then figure out how to unlock it, then navigate the tiny buttons that are also keyboard letters. Even helping her memorize her own phone number doesn’t make sense anymore: should she learn mine or Rob’s?

I know she’ll have her own phone before we know it – or pretty soon, we’ll all have them implanted in our ears or something. But in the meantime, how do we do this?

I’m starting to sound like a Luddite. Or old. Or both. I miss film, I miss landline phones… In my next post, I’ll be grieving the loss of the telegram.