My older son–FirstBorn as I call him–got his first cellphone. He turned 13 and became a Bar Mitzvah, a son of the commandments, just a month ago. You can read all about it here. It was a huge milestone, spiritually profound and gorgeous and meaningful.
And he wanted his gift to be a phone. Truth be told, I wanted to hold out. He was raised with no toys with batteries, no TV, no movies for years. I’m a Waldorf-inspired hippie.
He’s being a relatively normal 13-year-old I would say. Most kids we know have phones. And that’s not to say that I let what other kids do dictate what my kids do. But I’m aware that we are one of the last holdouts. My ex-husband and I discussed it, and sometimes in divorce–and I suppose in marriage as well–you have to compromise.
So he got a phone. My younger son, the Little Man who just turned 10, has had a rough time with the fact that his brother got a phone. He may or may not have cried on and off the whole day it happened. I may or may not have gotten him a super cute doll. I may or may not have become his favorite person to cuddle that day and I may or may not have taken some joy in being Little Man’s favorite person for that day. Ahem.
It’s definitely weird to have an element of technology in his hands that simply didn’t exist when I was his age. I don’t get the entire appeal. I mean, I know why I have a phone. For emails and texting for work. And for Instagram and chatting with friends and for playing my beloved game I play. Oh. Maybe I do get it…
But he has classes to go to. A world to learn about. Things to see in new ways. I don’t want him glued to that phone. And he knows it. He doesn’t play a ton of games. He doesn’t have social media nor does he have an interest in that. He texts friends. I think he put Fortnite on there (which I now know about thanks to an interview with Little Man). He loves the camera. The first thing he ever sent me from his new phone was a gorgeous portrait of his brother looking out the car window. He is proud of his animated GIF of himself he made, an Animoji, which he can have speak messages to me.
He texts me sweet things and cute things. It’s a new way we can communicate. And I’m learning to accept that this is how his generation operates and connects.
I’m trying to keep up. He’s tall. He’s wise. He’s got a phone. Look out, world. Here he comes.