When Mrs. Sparks asked her son Allan to buy her a smartphone and teach her how to use it, he refused. So when his older sister bought their mother one, he was furious because he knew he would have to explain how it works to her. However, when his sister learned about his tantrum, she surprised him with something he never expected.
"Please, Allan. I want to be up to date," Mrs. Sparks begged her son. She wanted to buy a smartphone and smartwatch but needed Allan's advice on what to buy exactly. "I also want a Facebook. All my friends are using it."
However, Allan refused for what seemed like the millionth time. He didn't want to buy her the gadgets because he would have to explain how they all worked, and she would probably nag him way too often.
Allan was in his 20s and getting his master's degree at NYU. The program was so challenging that he didn't have time to work. Therefore, he moved in with his mother to save on rent.
Meanwhile, his older sister lived a few states away, making him the only person who could teach their mother how to use a smartphone, and it seemed like too much of a hassle for him.
A ping distracted Allan from his studies. Ruth had sent him a message with a video attached. He thought it might be about his niece and wanted to read it later, but another video came in and another and another.
"Mom, if you want to talk to Ruth, I can just set up a FaceTime call. You don't need those things. It's too complicated, and I have no time to teach you," he told his mother, trying to contain his frustration at her request.
The older woman frowned but stopped nagging him for a while. However, her birthday came up, and some family members gathered at her house. When she opened Ruth's gift, she discovered a brand-new iPhone and an Apple watch to match it.
Ruth gave their mother a new phone and a smartwatch like she wanted. | Source: Pexels
She was delighted. It was the highlight of her evening, but Allan was angry. He wanted to scold his sister, who would be leaving in a few days, so all the responsibility for those gadgets fell on him. But he contained himself because he saw how happy his mother was.
Luckily, Ruth managed to teach her a few things, such as downloading and creating a Facebook account for her. But when she left, Allan was left to the task.
He was bombarded with questions from Mrs. Sparks. "Can you help with my profile picture, Allan? How do I download Instagram? My watch is not synced to my phone. Can you help?"
At first, he helped her, but he grew more frustrated after a few days. "I can't help you, Mom! I have to study. That's why I told you not to get those things! They're just too complicated for people your age!" he raged at her when she interrupted his studies once again. "Don't talk to me about that phone ever again!" he added and turned back to his laptop.
He told her not to bother him with her questions anymore. | Source: Pexels
With his back turned, Allan couldn't see the hurt in his mother's face. She left his room, feeling rejected, and didn't ask him for anything for a while.
"How's everything going?" Ruth asked her mother on the phone one day. Mrs. Sparks was glad to hear from her daughter.
"Everything's fine over here. Your brother is really studying for his midterms right now," the older woman responded and sighed.
"Well, now you have lots of distractions with your phone, and the smartwatch is designed to track some of your health. Is it working?" her daughter asked.
"Well, yes. But I have a bunch of questions, and I can’t ask Allan."
"Because he yelled at me the other day. He's been telling me for a while not to get these silly gadgets because I'm too old to learn to use them, and maybe he was right," Mrs. Sparks revealed, a tone of sadness in her voice.
Ruth called her mother to see how she was doing and discovered what Allan did. | Source: Pexels
Ruth silently fumed at her brother but she didn't say anything to their mother. Instead, she assured her that anyone at any age could learn to use those gadgets with some patience and tried to explain a few things over the phone.
A ping distracted Allan from his studies. Ruth had sent him a message with a video attached. He thought it might be about his niece and decided to open it later. But another video came in, and another, and another.
Allan couldn't ignore it any longer so he opened them. The first one was a digitized home video showing Mrs. Sparks teaching Allan how to walk. The next video showed her feeding him. In another, he was struggling with math and his mother was patiently tutoring him.
Allan's phone starting pinging with video after video. | Source: Pexels
The videos kept coming, and Allan had no idea how or when his sister had digitized their home movies, but he understood her meaning clearly. Obviously, his mother said something about his attitude, and she was teaching him a lesson.
Another message came in, and this time Ruth had written something. "She was patient with you for many years. You should repay that gesture. Don't let me be disappointed in you," she sent, and Allan rubbed his forehead in frustration. He couldn't believe how he had treated his mother, who had been his favorite person for many years and the best teacher anyone could have.
Finally, he replied to his sister. "You're right. I'm sorry." Then he stood from his desk in his room and went to the living room, where his mother was sitting on the couch.
He taught her everything she needed to know about her smartphone and was patient with her questions. | Source: Unsplash
"Hey, darling," Mrs. Sparks greeted. "Are you hungry?"
"No, Mom. Let's get your phone connected to your smartwatch and I'll help you learn whatever you want," he stated, smiling and placing his hands in his pockets in chagrin.
"Really?" she asked enthusiastically and reached for her phone on the coffee table. He sat with her for hours, answering all her questions, and didn't complain about it once. Mrs. Sparks learned enough that she didn't have to bother Allan that much. But he had learned his lesson.
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