I knew, even before anything happened, that I would be slicing about the visit to my parents’ house today.
That’s because I headed there to help my dad set up his new computer and new wi-fi range extenders. I’m pretty sure my dad loves “tekkie” things (new phone, new smart TV, new computer, etc.), but he hates reading the directions and he absolutely hates trying to figure out how to set it up. Give him a car or actually any appliance, and he could probably tell you what’s wrong with it just by listening to the noise that it makes. But anything new? Yeah, just forget it. He knows not to start even before he begins.
But he swears that’s why he had me. I’m the one who reads the directions thoroughly and has the patience (sometimes) to put things together. Which is why he called me, even before he ordered the computer, to come help him with his new gadgets. We (me?) started by downloading all the things he needed from his old computer so we could eventually put them on the new computer. I asked him if he had a flash drive to download everything onto, and he asked me what that was. He pulled out his CD-Rs and asked if we could put it on there. I haven’t had a CD-R drive in the last 2 computers I had, mainly because you’re either able to stream it online or save it on a smaller and more convenient flash drive. I had to check that his new computer had a CD-R drive on it before I started downloading (it did).
Then it came time to unplug the old computer and put in the new. Having had a laptop for awhile now, the tangled mess of cords that met me when I pulled out the computer was shocking. I asked him if he knew what most of the wires were for and he said no. I’m pretty sure we spent more time figuring cords out than we did booting up and downloading the updates to the new computer. When all was said and done, we got rid of 4 cords and moved 2 on the side that didn’t seem to be plugged into anything but he was sure had a purpose.
We then moved on to plugging in the new computer, moving all the files onto it and getting it ready for him to use. Which, as always, is easier said than done. He wanted to know where some of the ports were, how to hook up the wi-fi range extender and how it worked. I didn’t know most of his answers, as I’m not quite sure how things work myself, but I tried to explain that through the magic of wi-fi, it would work.
When the computer was ready to go, Microsoft Office downloaded and installed, Google Chrome set as his default browser and all his icons in the same spot as on the old computer, he said, “Now, the most important thing…where do I find my solitaire game?” I burst out laughing. “What’s so funny?” he said. “Of all the things we’ve done today and all the questions you’ve asked, the thing you were the most worried about was a card game?” I couldn’t help but tease. He smiled back and said, “Just tell me where to find it. And then put it over here.” he said as he pointed to the bottom of the screen.
I realized that as technology gets newer, my parents’ age starts to show and they get older. And I hate being reminded of this. I wish I could keep them young and here with me forever. But I know I can’t. So I’ll settle for spending all my time with them by helping them hook up their new technology. Because it’s moments like these that you can’t get back.