Steve Jobs Made Me a Better Mom

Sure, he invented some of my favorite gadgets, but more importantly, Steve Jobs has made me a better parent.

His inventions made it possible, and fun, for me to do the most important work of my life.  His creative spirit reminds me to appreciate and nurture all the joys and frustrations of childhood, because therein lies the genius of invention, the engine of progress and the simple joy of life.

He conceived the home computer, so unlike generations before mine, I could work from home while raising my daughter.  My MacBook serves double-duty for client and volunteer projects (not to mention her homework), and my iPhone gives me the freedom and flexibility to be everywhere, while still being available to anyone anytime.  Those indispensible business tools also conveniently transform into really cool and sometimes educational toys that entertain my daughter when my attention needs to be elsewhere.

But it is his philosophy more so than his devices that I really lean on to get through the rough patches.

I have a quirky kid.  She is obsessive about Harry Potter right now, but in the past she was equally fixated on Pokemon or Princesses or PlayDough.  She spends a lot of time alone with books or in imaginary worlds of her own creation.   She is really smart and funny and more than a little odd.   We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thanks to Steve Jobs, I see her quirkiness as a sign of potential greatness rather than a cause for worry.  Well, sometimes I still worry.  But, she can sit on my lap and we can watch Apple’s “Think Different” commercial and find comfort and confidence knowing that some of the world’s greatest leaders were pretty quirky too.  She might or might not be the next Steve Jobs, but thanks to him, she knows that geeks can indeed rule.  He made smart cool, and he made cool smart.

He also harnessed the kind of imagination and impatience only found in childhood to create the most innovative and transformational technologies of our time.  He proved that there is value in many of the childish impulses we too often scold and try to repress.   A demand for more, better, now pushed his software developers to do the impossible.  An insatiable desire for ever-changing and ever-accessible amusement is embodied in the iPhone.  And the compulsion to touch things, grab them, bring them closer and then push them aside to see what else you can find is the essence of the iPad.   The same behaviors that drive parents crazy, actually drove his business.

I was a late-comer to the Cult of Mac, but I am here to stay.  It keeps alive the kid inside me, making me a better mom to the kid beside me.

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