We were his worst nightmare.
"We're going to forget how to make conversation," he said as he bore witness to my four children each deeply engaged with an electronic device.
"Oh, it's not so bad," I said, wishing he'd come past 20 minutes earlier when my little boys were playing their version of chess.
"I was watching these teenagers," he continued. "A girl asked a boy a question. He got up, walked behind a tree, and texted her the answer."
I laughed and told him that when my teenager's friends visit they spend most of their time jumping on the trampoline. And talking. He didn't hear me. At all.
He was actually quite lovely, not in the least bit cranky but rather mystified by the current state of the world; but if listening is a key part of conversation I have to wonder exactly who had lost the art of it in this exchange.