A Necessary Evil?
Necessary? I’m not sure. Evil? I’m not so sure about that either.
Big Girl, who is eleven (and a half) and is now in Middle School, has been asking for a cell phone for years, and incessantly begging for one for months. We have firmly been saying no for months. The truth of the matter is, that while our mouths were saying no, our heads were saying maybe.
As Big Girl has been earning more freedoms, her need for more independence is beginning to overtake my “need” to keep her tied to my apron strings. However, Zan and I wanted a bit more peace of mind before allowing her to venture too far away from us, and a bit more peace of mind can be bought for the price of an average cell phone. The point of no return in this whole cell phone saga, was the “mall adventure.” She and a friend were allowed to go wandering in the mall while I shopped. We had walkie talkies so I could contact them and they could contact me. Halfway through the shopping trip, the batteries died on the walkie talkies, leaving us to find each other without them. Although I earned a few more gray hairs, and thoughts of child abuctions flooded my weak little mind, this adventure ended very uneventfully, and we were reunited by chance, walking out of stores across the corridor from each other at exactly the same time. *whew!* This was the day I went from, “She doesn’t need a cell phone,” to “I need her to have a cell phone.”
We surprised her on Friday night, taking her out and letting her pick her phone. “Unfortunately,” I needed a new one too…*ahem*…(Isn’t it preeeeettttyyyy?!!) You see, Verizon has this feature called “Chaperone.” I can track my daughter’s phone, knowing where she is, what speed she’s travelling at, and I am alerted if she leaves the “safe zones” that I set up. A very cool feature. I am not naive enough to believe that this will keep her safe, but there is some comfort in the idea that I will be alerted the minute she leaves “the mall” for example. The fact that we can be in contact with each other by text or voice anywhere, anytime is also a comfort, not only to me, but to her. As an added benefit, she’s been texting with long-distance cousins all weekend too, which will keep them close when we’re far apart.
So, we took another step toward untying a knot in the apron string…lots more knots to go, thank God. I wish they could stay young forever. Have we done right? Who knows. Only time will tell. Right now we are her heroes. And it really is fun to play a hero now and then.