A few months ago, my mom called to ask me my thoughts on her getting an iPhone.
“Why do you need an iPhone?” I asked.
“Well, I have my iPad and I love it, so I thought it would be a good idea to have the phone too.”
“But you really only use your phone as an answering service, you never turn it on besides to check your voicemail for work.”
“Well, your sister just bought a new one and she’s giving me her old one and she said you could show me how to use it.”
I felt a slight sense of panic as I recalled somewhat painful memories of year’s prior when she bought herself an iPad for Christmas, and then back a bit further to when she received her first iPod.
She had asked for a “crash course” on how to use the iPod so we sat down one afternoon and started with the basics. I showed her how to turn it on and off, how to adjust the volume and how to skip to the next song.
“Okay, this is great! It’s so simple” she said – perhaps a little prematurely.
“How do I buy a song off iTunes? I want Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.”
“Okay, go to iTunes ” I said, feeling pretty good about how quickly she picked up on the basics.
“Click on the iTunes icon."
“This one,” as I pointed to the iTunes icon.
“Which one? They’re all so close together.”
“The one with the music notes on it” I calmly said through grinding teeth.
“Oh, that one. Okay! Now what?”
“Good! So, now in the top right corner click on ‘iTunes Store’ button.”
“I don’t see it.”
“Right here” as I put my finger on the screen next to the button that clearly read iTunes store.
“Okay” as she clicks the button.
“Great, so now we’re in the iTunes store. We need to search for the song. Type the name of the song you want to find into the search bar right here,” as I pointed to the search bar.
“Okay! H-A-L-L-E-L-U-J-A-H” she spelt out slowly as I tried my best not to pull the keyboard out of her hands and type it myself, “nothing’s happening.”
“You need to hit enter.”
“Oh! Enter! Done!"
“Okay, here it is by Leonard Cohen, it’s $1.29. Click it.”
“On the $1.29 button.”
“That’s a button?”
“Yes, click it!”
“Mom, just let me do it.”
“No, I need to do this myself,” click, click, click, click, “It’s not working.”
“Just let me do it,” as I grabbed the keyboard out of her hands.
I’ll stop there, as the rest of our conversation seems to be a blur due to a large amount of frustration on both our parts. There were raised voices and rolling eyes and a few choice words if I recall correctly. As a Generation Y child, or a “Millennial” as we’re often referred to, I could not understand why she just could not get it.
Looking back at this now, I feel silly, and frankly a little ashamed of myself. My parents have always had nothing but patience with me throughout the years, even when they ought not to of.
Let’s think about this for a second. From the time we’re born, our parents teach us almost everything we know. From learning how to talk, to potty training, to reading and writing – they do it all, and you never hear them complain.
It’s funny how we forget so quickly. It’s not very often we have the opportunity to teach our parents something, so take advantage of that, help them out, and remember to have patience.