Miller, who describes himself as a self-employed realtor based in Arkansas, seemingly observed a mother of three and was inspired::
Dear Mom On the iPhone,
I see you over there on the bench, messing on your iPhone. It feels good to relax a little while your kids have fun in the sunshine, doesn’t it? You are doing a great job with your kids, you work hard, you teach them manners, have them do their chores.
But Momma, let me tell you what you don’t see right now”¦..
Your little girl is spinning round and round, making her dress twirl. She is such a little beauty queen already, the sun shining behind her long hair. She keeps glancing your way to see if you are watching her.
Your little boy keeps shouting, ”Mom, MOM watch this!” I see you acknowledge him, barely glancing his way.
He sees that too. His shoulders slump, but only for a moment, as he finds the next cool thing to do.
Now you are pushing your baby in the swing. She loves it! Cooing and smiling with every push. You don’t see her though, do you? Your head is bent, your eyes on your phone as you absently push her swing.
Talk to her. Tell her about the clouds, Mommy. The Creator who made them. Tickle her tummy when she comes near you and enjoy that baby belly laugh that leaves far too quickly.
Put your eyes back on your prize”¦Your kids.
Hear that moms? Did you forget “your prize” in the eight seconds you chose to selfishIy steal for yourself? Random ass stranger in the park who has never even met you says that you’re doing parenting all wrong.
I echo Rebecca Eckler when I say that “children are for rent,” and true, parents generally have a limited window when they’re the Sun and the Moon to their kids. But seriously, this lady seems to have THREE little ones. Without knowing her, I can feasibly assume that between pushing her baby on the swing, making sure her daughter doesn’t twirl herself into a jungle gym, and keeping an additional eye on her son, said mom is probably putting in plenty of tummy rubbing and cloud talking time. As well as a ton of other stuff to keep three small humans warm, fed, and alive.
But apparently that doesn’t matter, moms, because your kids need to be AT THE CENTER OF YOUR ENTIRE LIVES ALL THE TIME EVERY WAKING MOMENT — or they aren’t “the priority”:
Show them that they are the priority. Wherever you are, be ALL there. I am not saying it’s not ok to check in on your phone, but it’s a time-sucker: User Beware!
Play time at the park will be over before you know it.
The childhood of your children will be gone before you know it.
They won’t always want to come to the park with you, Mommy. They won’t always spin and twirl to make their new dress swish, they won’t always call out, ”WATCH ME!”
There will come a point when they stop trying, stop calling your name, stop bothering to interrupt your phone time.
Because they know”¦
You’ve shown them, all these moments, that the phone is more important than they are. They see you looking at it at while waiting to pick up brother from school, during playtime, at the dinner table, at bedtime”¦..
I know that’s not true, Mommy.
I know your heart says differently.
But your kids can’t hear your words, Mommy. Your actions are screaming way too loudly.
May our eyes rest upon those we love, first and foremost, and may everything else fall away in the wonderful, noisy, sticky-fingered glory of it all.
Yeah, and may those eyes ALSO not rest too heavily on the mother of THREE young children perhaps engaging in some playground texting to save her sanity.
UPDATE: Our reader lea has tipped us off to the possibility that Grandpa is either a plagiarizer or doesn’t know how to properly credit his interwebs finds. The original author of the letter appears to be “a mid-west mom of 4” who posted the tsk-tsking in November of 2012.