Harmon twins nearly out of the nest after 21st birthday

Dear Paul and Sean:

As the years, now 21 of them, have gone by, I have found that I have gone from knowing all about you to knowing next to nothing about you.

You actually turned 21 back on Tuesday, and I’m sad to say the day was uneventful, at least from our perspective.

From yours, Sean, it was, and I quote, thanks to the miracle of texting, “busy and no fun lol.”

At least you added “lol.”

Seems you had a test, maybe two, for which you needed to prepare and that took priority. Good choice, but I wish you had a moment for a bit of celebration. Your mother and I hope to provide that soon enough.

Paul, you cadged a free pizza and Coke (diet) on your birthday from a local establishment where you tell me you are a regular. That also according to your texting.

Which leads me to note aloud that while it’s fashionable to decry the march of technology and its dire consequences on young minds, to say nothing of the tendency of old minds to dodder on well behind, the inventor of texting needs a daily parade.

It’s an easy way of checking in and asking “How r u?” without being particularly obtrusive, though I should point out that I take pains to ask “How are you?” or “What’s up?” as opposed to slipping into modern technoslang. And I have yet to actually punch in “lol,” except for that last one a moment or so ago.

It’s a bit easier to envision a future if we can punch in some letters to your phones and know that you can ignore them if there’s something important going on. You’ll answer later.

It wasn’t that long ago, in the grand scheme of things, that children away from home might write their parents on occasion and send the letters by mail to parents who might be eagerly awaiting them for days.

Telephones for a long time were expensive and time was set aside for those long-distance calls.

You might remember that we tried Skype, which was fine, if you didn’t mind knowing what you looked like to a webcam. Not pretty, and I’m talking about me. You guys had similar reservations, perhaps because of what you had to see.

Facebook? Might check it on occasion. Twitter? Really? Who needs 140 characters when 24 will do?

So, texting it is. It’s immediate gratification, sort of. It doesn’t carry advertising, so those funds can be better used by companies to buy space in The Daily Sentinel. Everybody wins that way.

As you guys work your way through your junior years in college, we’re looking forward to the summer. Perhaps more than ever.

It’s dawned on your mom and dad that this is likely to be your last summer at home.

Next year at this time, you might be gearing up for gainful employment. That has been, after all, the point of this exercise.

Sean, we understand someone approached you with the possibility of a fall-semester internship, which we consider something of a coup. We hope it turns out well as you pursue your degree in business with an emphasis on supply-chain management. You deal in a world of Six Sigma and any number of certifications thereof, which is pretty much like Neptune to me. I know it’s there, have even read some on it, but dude, I don’t breathe in that atmosphere.

Paul, you’re working on bachelor’s degrees in statistics and economics, which I consider pretty impressive. I don’t know, but I think that makes you a rara avis, even in the world of academics.

Cutting to the chase, your mom and dad are looking forward to having you home for a summer in which you will occupy your old rooms, hog the television, empty the refrigerator and otherwise do whatever you have done for two decades.

You’re welcome. More than you know. 






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