I am waiting for the plane, sitting, as we all know, through the inevitable delay which occurs whenever you really want to get somewhere in a hurry “home, work, play “the world sometimes seems to conspire. I am impatient.
Across from me sits a young family, going through the same waiting. But they have come more prepared: packets of goodies for the kids, books and magazines, bottles of water. “Experienced travelers”, I think. “Used to the delays”. “Dad a Boy Scout, now grown up?” I wonder, somewhat cynical and envious.
One of the children, a girl, about 9 years old I think, is chatting on a cell phone with one of her friends. Talking about the holidays, where they are going, who is doing what ... connecting, staying connected. (Yes, I eavesdrop when I am bored).
When she finishes her call, she reaches down and stuffs the cell phone in to a carry-on bag filled to the rim. She fishes around for a while and pulls out a book, and something else. It’s a coloring book, I see. In her other hand is a box of crayons. She settles back in to her seat and begins to color. Content. Relaxed. At ease.
I am struck by these two images. The young girl, modern and engaged with other through technology. The other, a young girl engaged with self through a traditional children's pastime. Yet they are both the same girl. Balanced between stages of development? Representing a “new breed” of the modern young person?
She moves so easily between the activities.
I think about the young people I see in so many programs “struggling to be modern while not yet finished with the developmental tasks of their current stage. Or those young people stuck, developmentally. How out of balance they seem compared to this young girl in front of me. How easily she bridges the two. I wonder how she manages it.
Her parents look on, encouraging both.
I wonder some more. I wonder if it is just my aging perception.
I sit back and text a friend.