“She has a symbiotic relationship with that phone,” the mother complained, eyebrows raised and head tipped in the direction of her daughter.
The pre-teen (on cue) rolled her eyes without lifting them from her opposing thumbs and the aforementioned item’s screen.
“See?!” the mom announced, vindicated.
“Whatever,” the girl sighed in the tone dedicated to oldsters who cannot possibly understand the nuances and necessities of modern life. She placed her phone face-down on the desk and turned her head to her mother. “Happy now?”
The mom nodded, half-mollified, half-mortified.
The lass-with-sass turned to me. “She keeps on me for that phone but she’s the one who’s always on the phone.”
“It’s work stuff,” the mother defended, reddening. Her own ‘lifeline’ already half-way out of her purse.
“Mine’s school stuff,” the girl countered. Her eyebrows rose in victory, a mirror image of her mother’s.
I smiled at their banter. It was a well-rehearsed dance, a sparring of connection more than true conflict.
“Funny thing …” I pulled out the work I had planned for our session that day: a passage and discussion about symbiosis, the close and often long-term interaction between two different species …
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