Dear Rude Parents with iPads

Dear rude parents with iPads,

Yes, you. I mean you, mom with the straightened hair brandishing an iPad mini. Also you, mom in black lace top with giant iPad. And you, dad with the non-iPad Galaxy Tab. No matter how many times the teachers asked you to sit down so we could all enjoy our kids’ performances, you didn’t. The students with special needs understood and tried to follow directions as best as they could. Why couldn’t you? Other parents sheepishly sat down only to stand up again as soon as the music started, as if that were enough of an excuse. We were left in the back, robbed of being able to watch our children. Did you care? No. You just stayed there, impervious, perfectly justified in your selfishness by the thought that you were doing this for your kids.

Your rudeness angers me. Especially because you were rude for nothing. You captured the moment, but you missed it altogether. You weren’t making eye contact with your kid singing her heart out, you were watching the screen you held aloft like an offering. You were physically closer to your kid than we were, but truly, you were farther away. Later, when you replay the video, you won’t relive the joy of your kid’s performance; you’ll relive the joy of taking the video.

A principle isn’t a principle unless it costs you. I refused to join the melee of parents in the front, on principle. I couldn’t see my son sing Piliin Mo Ang Pilipinas. I made do with waiting for him in the corridor. As soon as he saw me, he ran and jumped up so I could catch him and shrieked, “Mamaaaaa! I was good!” No, I don’t have it on video.

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