In every parent’s life, there comes that moment when despite all of our best efforts we have to come to terms with facing the reality… well, of our reality. It’s not a pleasant experience and very rarely do we get to choose when it happens. Most of the time it’s at the most unexpected of times and in the most bizarre and/or random of situations. ¡Ya sé! Listen to me, the “all experienced” parent trying to tell you about how to raise your own kids. I’m not. I’m just as nervous and worried as the next parent. How the hell am I supposed to know what to do?! This is my first time after all.
Pero bueno, we have to give each other valentía.
For me, this aha moment just kind of happened over the weekend. Bueno, I’m probably making more of it than what it was. But that’s just my way! So there we were, driving to visit my parents over the weekend as is pretty customary for us. I forget what we were talking about, but it might have had something to do with work or blogging, or vlogging – poor Edgar he has to listen to a lot of these conversations – when all of the sudden he asked “can I get a cell phone?” Now, he’s asked this question before although it’s always been half kidding. You know, the way a seven year old might ask if they can keep the phone that you just stopped using because you bought another one, not really understanding that without a service plan there aren’t really a lot of frills to owning a phone. This time though, he was serious.
I know because only recently have we begun to let him use our smartphones and other mobile devices on a regular basis. I know because he started talking about “a phone with internet” and “so I can get on Netflix and YouTube” and all that other good stuff. I know because his cousins have, and have had, the internet on their iPods, iPhones and other devices and have been teaching him about it even if they haven’t really realized it themselves. Of course, pues desde luego como estarán pensando, this is pretty normal for his age and the times that we are living in right now. What it really made me kind of start hyperventilating about was all the implications that a phone means.
It means that he’s going to “have to have” someone to talk to and text on that phone. That he’s going to have to have “a life” of his own pretty soon. That, yes, he’s moving on to another grade and another year closer to high school and graduation. That pretty soon he’s not going to look up to us or listen to everything we say to him just because we’re his parents. It means that pretty soon we’re going to stop being cool and he’s going to probably realize that we don’t always know everything. That sometimes we’re just kind of winging it. But worst of all, what that means is that the little boy who’s sleeping in the next room right now is going to eventually stop being our little boy.
He’s going to grow up!
That terrifies me. To be completely honest.
Granted I know there are so many other parents out there facing much tougher challenges today with their own kids. I don’t pretend to compare myself to anyone. But en toda sinceridad how do we know? How do we know that we are doing a good job? How do we know when our kids are really ready for a cell phone or not?
We gave him the old “you have to prove to us that you’re responsible enough for a phone” routine… pero en verdad, I’m not really ready for him to have one. Which kind of made realize something about myself too. I’m not as hip of a parent as I used to think I was. I’m actually pretty darn old school in fact.
Pobrecito, he ended up with parents from the 1900s instead of the new millennium!