December 12, 2016 was my son, Chris’s, 30th birthday. As I looked at this picture of him as a newborn, I realized some parallels about what has happened in his life over the years and especially how much technology has changed in 30 years.
Chris, you were a special blessing when you arrived in our family 30 years ago, only 13 months after we lost Momaw and baby Catherine. I took this picture of you when you were only a few weeks old to include in your birth announcements and I realized something! The outfit you are wearing is the first thing I ever ordered from home! I had seen it on an ad from Dillard’s we had received in the mail. I found the phone number on the ad, ordered it over the phone and received it in the mail. In 1986 that was the quickest way to get it as I recovered from a c-section and couldn’t yet drive and had no guarantee I could find the right size in the store! At that time the main way to order things was to obtain the Sears/JC Penney’s Catalog look through it, choose your items, fill out the order form with the exact item # and mail in your order or go to the store and turn it in. Then you would get it in the mail or arrange to pick it up at the store when it was available, which was the fastest way to get it!
Now when you were born, we were on the cutting edge of technology because since we actually had 2 personal computers at home! We even made your birth announcement on the computer, bought blue paper and printed it on our dot matrix printer! As you know your dad had a degree in Math, Computer Science & Systems Design and his job, using a personal computer, was such a new concept one of his projects was introducing personal computers to the Executives at Fox Photo to use in their own offices and develop a network to expand their use throughout the National Headquarters! Not only that, he had to find appropriate software for the various functions and considerations as to what adaptations needed to be made for the various business functions. It also had to be determined which information from existing mainframes needed to be transferred to the personal computer network being developed. After lots of analysis, meetings, necessary requisitions, software & licenses had to be purchased and necessary installations had been done, lots of data entry had to be done. After all that, in order to share information at the beginning, reports had to be printed out and hard copy had to be carried to other offices. In order to develop a network and streamline communication, your dad had to run cables in the walls and ceilings to the offices all over the building and between other floors so they would be connected. But to share information with other offices all over the country, he had to fly there and do the same kind of process at each site as was necessary for other functions in the company. Talk about a slow tedious process and I’m sure I over simplified it substantially due to my own limited knowledge of the technology!
How amazing that 30 years later both you and John are working in the Computer Science field too and you are adding to your Associates degree to earn your own B.S. in Math & Computer Science! New technologies and the internet have completely opened up communication literally via the World Wide Web! Even not all that long ago we had cables run all over the house between our personal computers and our router and needed to be connected to our internet provider. Wireless routers and wi-fi have completely changed that and cellular phones have even replaced the need for a landline
So when I ordered you that blue velour outfit for your birth announcements, landline telephone was the fastest form of communication, but now although most homes have computers connected to the World Wide Web, cellular telephones are wireless and have become tiny computers connected to the internet, most forms of communication and with us wherever we go!
Chris, it’s been special watching you grow and change these last 30 years! It’s even more special to anticipate what’s to come! I love you with all my heart, Mom