We didn’t have anything to do today so I told my husband to take my son to Toys R Us to spend a gift card he had received for Hanukkah while I spent some quality time with my daughter. Every now and then, we split up and focus our energies on one child at a time. She and I had your typical girl’s afternoon: lunch, a haircut and manicures/pedicures filled with conversation and laughter.
It was at the hair dresser that a text came through from my husband:
“He won’t get anything here unless he gets a phone.”
Put a child in a toy store, tell them they can get anything they want and they come out dry? Heck, when I was a young girl, one set of a grandparents who never spent much time with me and my sisters, took us to a toy store right before closing time and told us we could have anything we wanted, and I felt like I’d won the lottery. The doll that I chose that night carried me through some very important childhood years and it reminded me of them and their effort to be a part of my life, even only for a few short moments.
But my son? He is so stubborn and wants a phone so badly at 8 years-old that it’s all he thinks about. He could have bought a remote-control car, legos, a new soccer ball. And what did he choose? Nothing. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t want to ever go back to Toys R Us unless we let him get a phone.
Later when we were alone in the car, I asked him why he so desperately needs a phone. What is the urgency? Who would he call?
“I would call Daddy to find out what time he’s coming home every night.”
So, of course I told him that he can use the house phone to do that.
To which he replied, “I’m getting a phone in 5th grade.”
So, I asked him how old he thinks I was when I got my first cell phone. I told him I was 28.
Silence. He was shocked. I didn’t really need to tell him that cell phones weren’t really invented until I was that old. I don’t need to feel any older than I do at this stage in life.
So, I took a deep breath and told him how precious life is and how fast childhood goes by. I told him how nice it is to be able to play basketball on a Saturday and never have any errands. How nice it is to not have to work or worry about money or have to make sure your family has food on the table and beds to sleep on. How nice it is to have your whole life in front of you, with the world at your feet, and parents who will do anything to make sure you get as far as you can.
What did he say?
“So, when am I getting that phone?!”