Reader essay | Mom stores more than just numbers cell phone

The other day, my husband brought home a cartoon that succinctly describes why I cannot live without my Blackberry Curve. The cartoon is drawn in just one frame, featuring a female executive handing out file folders to colleagues, telling them, “It’s important that you get organized because I’ve just had my second baby and I can’t have you wasting my time any longer …”

The digital telephone, planner, texter, Web-surfer that is now my own lifesaver allows me to do my jobs much easier and faster than ever before. Instead of being chained to my Internet site and laptop, I can run several errands while waiting for an e-mail response from a client. I can get instant feedback from an editor, answer her questions and still be at the playground with my kids. I can tell my husband silently, via text, that the soccer match is canceled so he doesn’t dodge out of his meeting early.

Perhaps most importantly, my Blackberry Curve contains the first cell phone camera I’ve ever owned. When my 9-year-old son Matt asked for his bike one warm day, I pulled out his little brother’s bike first, to allow access to Matt’s larger bicycle. I knew my 5-year-old Ryan, a child with autism, would need help getting on and balancing on his bike, so I just left it in the driveway, figuring I’d get to him after I pulled out Matt’s bike.

When I turned around to get little Ryan on his bike, both bike and boy were missing. Poof! Gone! I ran around the corner to find my young son had gotten on the bike and was riding at a leisurely pace toward the park, never looking back, as if he’d been doing it his whole life. Just months before, I’d needed to hold him and help him steer. Now all I could see was his backside and little legs confidently pedaling off into the future, leaving me sputtering and teary-eyed behind.

I snapped a picture with my phone and captured forever this moment of independence and confidence.

That image is now the screen saver on my phone. It reminds me with every ring that the idea of “disability” is a moving target. When I have doubts, I see evidence that Ryan’s horizons are just as boundless as his brother’s. And it tells me that both boys will surprise me constantly with what they know and what they can learn.

I expected my new phone to make my life easier, to streamline the processes that populate my life and often perplex me. What I didn’t expect was a tool that would teach me lessons and remind me of life’s truths. That’s an “app” they haven’t figured out a name for yet. But they’re going to make a fortune when they start marketing it.

Just ask Ryan-if you can catch up to him.

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