The Only Thing

The birth of my son forced me to unplug—and reminded me of what’s truly important.

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Welcome to the world! Baby Jay arrived on Aug. 17.

Welcome to the world! Baby Jay arrived on Aug. 17.

After more than two years of interviewing our industry’s most inspiring leaders for my monthly Q&A, I have come to the conclusion that they all have one thing in common: No one can live without an iPhone.

Every month for the sidebar I ask, “What three things would you bring to a deserted island?” And in almost every single case, the almighty iPhone is one of those three necessary possessions. C’mon, people! Haven’t you seen Cast Away? How about a knife? Or some flint for making fires? A Wilson volleyball for company?

To be fair, it’s easy to understand why our phones have become as essential as food and shelter. No longer are they simply a source of communication; they’re an entertainment center, day planner and record keeper, all wrapped up into one conveniently tiny package. And that convenience is crucial for all the workaholics of the world.

Recently, my own ability to go off the grid was put to the mettle, for a very good reason. I’m elated to announce that on Aug. 17, my son, Jay, was born.

I had been determined throughout my pregnancy to stay in the game, so to speak. You may have seen me, almost 40 weeks pregnant, waddling the aisles at the August edition of Playtime New York and ENK Children’s Club. When you love your job, and the people you work with, it can be hard to put it on the back burner—even for the best of reasons. Clearly, I may need to join the iPhones Anonymous club, myself.

But life has a funny way of reminding you what really matters. When my son’s delivery became unexpectedly complicated, leading to a week’s stay in the hospital, the only thing that could take my mind away from the physical pain was the sight of my sweet little boy, and my unending gratitude for the loving support of my family.

Yes, I had my iPhone, and I occasionally responded to texts and calls from close friends and family, but most of my time was spent snuggling my son and recovering. Of course, here’s where I have to cut my Q&A interviewees a break. Before answering “iPhone,” they almost always say something else first: “I would say my family, but I guess family isn’t a thing, right?”

Right. Family isn’t a thing—it’s the only thing. Particularly our precious children. It’s just another reason why I love our industry. We get it.

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