When I was in grade school, I took a bus in the morning and had a morning routine — one of my grandmothers would walk me to the bus stop and make sure I safely got on before going home. I sometimes see parents in my building doing the same for their children, along with the occasional grandparent. One father decided he wanted to take what could be a loving task and make it ever so slightly Panopticonic and built a drone plane to follow him to the bus stop — all four hundred meters, that is.
I had to read the article a few times to get that the father never really succeeded in building a working drone, but it gave me pause to think of all of the parents who would gladly send out robots to follow their children to school instead of taking the few minutes out of their day to do it themselves. I imagine that when our son Chaim Yosef is of school age, my wife or I will be there with him on the way to the bus stop in the morning as our family was there for us.
If you look at the comment section of the articles, you will see that a lot of the people are rather vicious toward the father’s parenting ability and question what he would do under extreme circumstances that happen too often to our nation’s children — kidnapping, for example. What could a tiny helicopter with a camera do for the father other than show him the tragedy in progress?
I noted that the only reason that the father is currently abandoning his helicopter drone plans is because the battery life just isn’t good enough. I can only hope that he will see reason — that no flying helicopter can ever substitute for a father and that the warmth and dryness he enjoys by staying inside cannot compare with the time that he is missing out with his son. There are many days that I would love to switch places with Elizabeth and have her sit in my chair at the office all day while I take care of Chaim but that is not to be, alas. Would you ever send out your children in the care of a helicopter drone? I cannot imagine ever doing so.