(Written in February 2009)
When he was in 5th grade, Matthew desperately wanted a cell phone. I was torn between giving in and the principal of giving a phone to someone still in elementary school. I liked the idea of being able to call him and find out exactly where he was and what he was doing, but then again everyone else would be able to do that too.
When I was a child, we had one phone line and we were never to mistake that it was my DAD’s phone. If we were on the phone chatting with our girl friends about who liked whom and who wore what to school, when he needed the phone he would pick up, clear his throat and hang up. That was our signal to get off the phone pronto. It was never a question. Dad needed the phone and that was it. I begged for my own phone line but in the 1980’s who had 2 phone lines in their house? What a waste of money.
So, for his 9th birthday I gave in and bought Matthew a cell phone. That morning I placed the phone next to his bed and called it so that it would wake him up. He was so excited about it. Freedom. It was like getting a drivers license! Little did I know what that would lead to.
My first phone bill came in. I went over it like a CSI agent. Although he stayed within range of his allotted cell phone minutes, I noticed that he had five numbers that were constantly calling.
“Ummm, Matthew, who are these different numbers for?”
“My girlfriends. They call all the time.”
My 9 year old son, the pimp. I was horrified! Who were these hussy’s and why were they calling my son? I was NEVER allowed to call a boy. Only cheap women would actually call a boy. Nice girls waited for them to call you. With my luck I would have been in the middle of a conversation and my dad would pick up…
“So….wasn’t Health class stupid today?”
“Yeah – but at least we got to learn about boobs.”
I’d hear THE throat clear and I know I’m in deep crap. My dad would most definitely pick up when the word boobs came out. Why not? It was like he had bad timing ESP.
And so now here my son is with five girls calling him. What did they talk about? Are they talking about boobs and God only knows what else? My mind raced like SeaBiscuit. He’s only NINE YEARS OLD!!! Finally I got up the nerve and I asked him.
“Soooooooooo, what are you and these ladies talking about? Homework? What’s on TV???” (Please God..)
“Well usually there’s just a lot of silence. They don’t really talk and I don’t know what to say. Usually we just watch Spongebob together on the phone. It’s kind of boring.”
Thank you God. My son is still a good boy.