My oldest child is about to turn 13.
That deserves repeating.
I am about to become the mother of a teenager.
THIRTEEN!! This is huge.
This child of mine is a blessing (as are all my kids...of course....but this post isn't about the other two). He is a self motivated, responsible, hard working, and confident child.
He has been trying hard to spread his wings and begging us to unclip the tips. We have kept a tight reign. We are tight reign kinda parents. I don't allow him to ride his bike to 7eleven to get Slurpee's....which, according to him, is allowed by all his friends' parents. I don't allow him to wander the woods near our home by himself. I've only recently started letting him take bike rides in our subdivision by himself but only if he has a walkie talkie with him so
I can contact him when I start to freak out he can contact me if he gets hurt or if some serial killer lures him to his car with the promise of a cell phone and then promises to chop him into little itty bitty pieces and feed him to his dog if he needs help. Up until now I've always required there to be a definite destination (within our subdivision) followed immediately by a phone call upon his arrival to said destination. And the pièce de résistance....we have not allowed him to have a cell phone.
Are we too strict? Are the reigns pulled too tight?
Truth be told, I remember being a 9 or 10 years old (I know I wasn't older than 10 because we moved from that house when I was 10) and being sent...by bike....to Great Scot! (remember that place??)...which happened to be about 1/2 mile away and required crossing a major 4 lane road....to purchase a gallon of milk for my mom. My friend and I used to ride our bike there all the time. (*Reminding myself to tell you about the time I got caught shoplifting an entire bag of candy from the local Kmart with that same said friend....but that's a story for another day). I also remember being 13 or 14 years old and catching a city bus (by myself) to hitch a ride to my dance classes several times each week. The bus transported me about 6 miles and then dumped me off on a major highway road from which point I then walked another 1/2 mile to the dance studio that was my destination. My mom worked....so if I wanted to get to my dance classes on time after school this was my only option. I was even allowed to catch the city bus with my friends to spend weekend afternoons at the mall. The mall was 8 miles from my home.
But times have changed. (The fact that those words just rolled off my finger tips makes me feel really old!)
But it's true.
Times have changed. And he's my first child. It's to be expected.
But he's about to turn THIRTEEN! A TEENAGER!
And he is such a good kid. I mean....If you forget about the eye rolling and adolescent "tude" that has begun to emerge. He truly is every parent's dream child. He never has to be asked to do his homework. His school work comes easy to him. He always gives 110% of himself in everything he does. He is very confident and makes friends easily so I don't have to worry about him being bullied at school. And he is responsible. Well....as responsible as a thirteen y/o can be anyway.
He has been begging us for the past year for a cell phone. My answer is always the same. A resounding "NO"! What can you possibly need a cell phone for. You're in school all day. You're not allowed to have a phone in school. And then at gymnastics practice 20 hours each week. The friends he spends most of his "off" time with live within our subdivision. And....well....we have a phone! What would you need a cell phone for??
And all of that remains true. He truly has no need for a cell phone. But after long hours of discussion with hubby we have decided to relent. We have purchased our son a cell phone for his thirteenth birthday. If for no other reason than to acknowledge that he is now a teenage. And this is a major milestone. And to show our son that we are reluctantly trying to loosen the reigns (just an inch) because we trust him and, more importantly, he has never given us a reason to not trust him.
This cell phone comes with a long list of rules and stipulations...and he will be paying for a portion of his monthly bill in the form of added household responsibilities and chores....but we are still parental Gods in his eyes. At least for this one night. I'm sure he'll be back to rolling his eyes at our stupidity and cluelessness by tomorrow morning.
And here are the photos from our evening. We celebrated his birthday with a family dinner at a restaurant of his choice 5 days early because Papa Smurf will be away on a business trip on his actual birthday. He chose Kona Grill because he wanted sushi. My thirteen y/o ordered sushi and a rack of lamb! I kid you not!
All he asked for (besides the cell phone which as far as he knew was NOT going to happen) was a sling shot. To be used on our property up north. And here was his reaction to the $12.00 sling shot! Priceless!
He didn't realize there was another gift until Smurfette handed it to him.
Dude...have you lost your mind!!! THIS IS A CELL PHONE!!!! WEEEEEEEE!!!!
His reaction was truly priceless. He had no idea. Little does he know the phone came free with a new contract! =)
And now we enter a new phase of parenthood. God? Give me strength...