I like to think I have my grown children figured out and properly categorized: the wise, contemplative oldest, the never-knew-a-stranger sales guy in the middle and the sensitive, empathic youngest.
I thought this game was a comfortable one-way street until the wise one sent a care package to entertain me after bunion surgery.
"I think you'll like this stuff," he said. "It's the real you."
I hardly could wait to find out what that was: A smashing collection of classical jazz? A volume of Chekhov prose? A Black Belt Sudoku book?
Instead, when the box arrived, it contained three items: a novel about a widow who had become bored and joined the CIA, a 550-piece travel puzzle and a little white box with a three-sided thingamajig in it.
My 7-year-old granddaughter -- the sales guy's daughter -- gasped when she saw it.
"A fidget spinner!" she yelled and grabbed it out of my hand. It seems she and all her friends buy them by the fistfuls and stash them in their backpacks.
In seconds, she had it spinning between her thumb and second finger.
Suddenly, it was spinning perfectly on the tip of her thumb.
"This is a really good one," she said. "It will help you when you're fidgety."
She danced around, thumb in the air.
"You're going to love it."
The more I read about fidget spinners, the more sobering all this became.
It's not just that the wise one believes a toy invented to calm children with ADHD is the perfect thing for me. It's also that I somehow had missed a craze that has spun like a tornado through the national media for months.
The calming part makes sense. The first time I spun it, I couldn't take my eyes off the thing.
"This could be the perfect meditation tool," I told my son -- and I meant it.
How could I leave the present moment when I was totally absorbed in watching a whirligig?
"Is that why you sent it?" I asked him. "So I could focus?"
"Use it as you will," he said.
Did I mention he also is superbly polite?
But the more I pondered this, I began to realized the real me still lives in a bubble, despite ardent postelection efforts. I'm in my own little world, uninhabited by fidget spinners or news reports, fake and otherwise, that have warned of the dangers of these whirligigs gone airborne.
Some schools have banned them. Teachers have seized them. ADHD experts have wrangled about their usefulness. All this is off my radar screen.
In time, I was bothered less by the idea of being fidgety than the fact that I had missed it all. Was it a generational thing? Was I aging at an alarming rate?
My only comfort is that when I mentioned the fidget spinner, my sensitive and empathic youngest had no idea what I was talking about.
"So he gave you a Sit 'n Spin?" she asked. "How is that good for your foot?"
She went on to ask if I had heard the news that Ohio farmers were producing camel milk -- a topic she said everyone was talking about -- in Oregon, where she lives.
At least living in a bubble is not about age. It's apparently genetic.
Balancing Act author Pat Snyder is a northwest Columbus resident and life-balance speaker and coach. Find her at PatSnyderOnline.com.