For my 15th birthday, I got a phone. Not a smartphone, not a flip phone or a even a cordless model - but instead one of those clear plastic, see-through landline phones of the 1990s where the wires and insides were brightly colored and the see-through cord easily tangled with use. My 15-year-old self was thrilled, because I also got my own separate phone line in my bedroom. It meant I could talk endlessly with my friends and not be disturbed by anyone in my family getting on the line and asking me to get off the phone or listening in. It meant being able to use the phone without picking up and hearing the high-pitched “eee-errr” of dial-up internet, as we had just gotten our first computer that year. It meant privacy, which in the life of a teenager, is worth more than gold. Looking back, I think giving me my own phone line was a matter of convenience for my mom. If talking on the phone was a marathon event, I probably would have medaled in it in high school. I still remember, how, during my sophomore year, I talked to my then-boyfriend for 10 straight hours on a school night. I have no clue, now, what we actually talked about at the time, other than listening to music and trying to record mix tapes. But I remember being very proud of the fact that I stayed on the phone for that long and fell asleep with the receiver to my ear - yes, an accomplishment by my 1990s, pre-social media, teenage self. I thought about those times recently when my oldest daughter visited my office. She’s of the generation that has grown up with smartphones and is more adept with iPad than I am. Technology comes easy to her, most of the time. While visiting me at work, she likes to use my desk phone to call her dad, since we don’t actually have a landline phone in our home. I haven’t had a landline since college. After talking to my husband, with the phone receiver still in her hand, my 9-year-old said, “I’m done talking. How do I hang it up?” “You hang it up,” I replied, giving her a hand motion. “Right, but what do you push?” she asked. “No, you actually hang it up,” I showed her, getting the receiver and putting it back on the phone. “Ohhhh,” my daughter replied. “That’s kind of weird.” I suddenly felt ancient. Technology is changing rapidly. If the rotary phones of my mother’s youth were extinct by my teenage years, and the landlines are now are becoming extinct, what will the smartphones be by the time I have grandchildren? I shudder to think. My mother sent me and my sister a text message last week - because we rarely actually talk on the phone, but instead text - letting us know that she was cutting her landline and would now only have her cellphone number. It makes financial sense. She never uses the landline anymore, and the only people who call her on that line are telemarketers. But getting that news felt like a little piece of my childhood died. The phone number of my youth, the number that my parents originally got before I was born when they moved back to Alabama in 1978, the number that has called the Seabol household for four decades, the number I once had to memorize in kindergarten - will be finished. I couldn’t help but feel a little mournful. My sister reacted the same. “But that’s so sad!” my sister replied, followed with tear-streaked, sad-faced emojis. I decided to call the old phone number yesterday, one last time. It rang and rang and rang before going to voicemail, which was full, probably, with messages from telemarketers. It was anticlimactic. No one to talk to, unable to leave one last message. I then grabbed my cellphone to send my mom a text instead. At least we have that - for now. Lydia Seabol Avant writes The Mom Stop for The Tuscaloosa News in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Reach her at lydia.seabolavant@tuscaloosanews.com.