Number two pencils? Check. Loose leaf notebook paper? Check. Snazzy backpack? For shizzle. Cell phone? PAUSE.
As a mother of three school age children ( three others still in diapers) I knew I would be buried under a mountain of back to school supply lists, uniforms and last minute summer reading reviews but nothing prepared me for the two hour plea from my eleven year old to buy him, dare I say it, a cell phone. I have already been deemed the "dino" of the house as I was not on board with the purchase of his game console nor the portable version of it purchased just a year later so it was no surprise to my son that my answer was no. I could not understand. Why would you need such a thing? Your lifestlyle consists of going to school or being within ear shot of me or your father. When would you need it? Regardless of the answer to that question, my answer is still no. As I watched the face get longer and the eyes well up, the whole scene conjoured up a vison from the "Parents just don't understand " video where Will Smith's pretend mom shakes her finger rapping " You go to school to learn, not for a fashion show." My flashback almost had me feeling his pain until he commits the ultimate begging child faux pas, " Everybody else has one mom!". Aw hell naw! I'm not about to do anything because a bunch of other parents are doing it. You can really forget it now.
As he walked away defeated and dejected I began to soapbox to myself, " What is the world coming to when children are walking around carrying cell phones?". "Why on earth is this an expected accessory and not a premature luxury?" I was totally against it and sure of my reasons but feeling way misunderstood and even a bit like a stick in the mud. As a "brand" new mommy my son has seen me use this little box as a tool for convienence and business so I understood the "grown up" allure but the mere act of him requesting one, suddenly made me see it more like a glass of wine or an "R" rated movie....ADULTS ONLY. Even more so with the growing popularity of text bullying, out of control promiscuity and just plain distraction from school work. I muddled over it for a minute. "What parent would seriously open this Pandora's box ?" I tried to see it from another point of view. Perhaps a parent whose child must walk home alone after school needs a way to track and contact them at all times? Perhaps a parent that no longer shares a residence with their child wants to talk to them without their ex as a mediator? Maybe it's just a different time and a cell phone is just like the pair Guess jeans I begged my mom for, coming back to haunt me. I figured of course that every parent has their reasons and maybe everything is not so cut and dry.
So after much internal debate and diplomacy in my heart, I got my car keys and drove to the store. I love my son and he is a responsible, respectful and giving child ( at least this is what I told myself on the way there). I returned home and climbed the stairs to his room.I opened the bag and placed it on the bed, and there it was, the great symbol of my compromise. A brand new pair of Guess jeans. Have a great school year son.