I’ll admit it; I caved. My eleven-year old son Bodie has been angling for an iPhone for the better part of two years. He repeatedly recites the list of friends who, by the age of nine, had been given cell phones of their own, then caps off his performance with a soulful rendition of that tearful ballad “I’m The ONLY One Who Doesn’t Have One”. While I don’t want to hold my son back, I never enrolled him in the Junior Executive Program, so I didn’t see the point in giving him a phone back then.
But last month he started walking to and from school on his own, exposing a little known philosophy I held deep within me: Offspring cannot be out of eyeshot, even for the twelve-minute walk to school, without access to parental supervision. Ok, I’ll OWN it! I feel better knowing I can reach him, or moreover, he can reach me, if needs be. After all, it’s not the same world we grew up in (yup, I just officially became my mother.)
So my eldest is now forever plugged in, and while his data plan is relatively limited, the volume of communication his age group can exchange in a day, from Instagram to iMessage, is nothing short of staggering. In the time it took for him to recharge his exhausted phone that first day and eat his dinner, he had received forty-one text messages. Granted, most of them were centered around that burning question “whacha doin’?”, but still, that’s more texts than his dad and I get in a month. Combined.
While this seems a perilous new era in his social life, I’ve been trying to focus on the upside of it all: at least now we’ll be able to communicate anytime we want. In fact, maybe we’ll forge an even deeper mother-son bond than the one we already have!
But alas, my hopes were short-lived as I read his text last Saturday (only the second day he’d had the phone) after he called me from a friend’s birthday party (I’m the green bubble):
Didn’t see that coming so soon.