Remember the days when boys had to muster up the nerve to call your house to talk to you? The days where it’d take him a good 30 to 45 minutes to just get the courage to pick up the phone. THEN he had to dial the number on the rotary dial — later on punch in the number on the touchpad. AND THENNNN had to either make small talk with a parent or suffer through the giggles and whispered taunts of a little/older brother or sister until he finally talked to the object of his desire?! If you have a teenage daughter or pre-teen, have you realized yet that those days are GONE???
My oldest is turning 13 soon and I know it’s only a matter of time before the boys start calling. But I realized yesterday, that those days of having the boys call the house are really no longer. With the cell phone, they’re calling the girls directly now, texting them. I won’t get the chance to quiz him firsthand, get a feel for the type of boy he is by the tone of his voice, judge his parents by those nervous manners, or lack of phone manners. I won’t get to tell him, “Sorry Billy, she’s not here,” be her co-conspirator when she’s just hand motioned and mouthed,”I’m not here.” Or tell him, “Billy, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you two to see each other anymore,” when one or the other has broken the other’s heart beyond repair; or the one I’ve been practicing in the mirror for years, “Billy, you come near my daughter ever again and I swear on my grandmother’s grave that I will let Mr. Palo Alto loose on you and he’ll shoot that tiny little head of yours clear off your shoulders with that rifle he’s been polishing for the last few years, waiting for this very moment.” I’m REALLY going to miss that one.
Kind of takes all the fun out of raising teenage girls, don’tcha think?? In truth, it takes away some level of our control, a sense of knowing who they’re seeing, who they’re talking to. It takes away from those small moments we share as mothers and daughters where we ask, “So what’s Billy like? Where did you meet him?” The conversations will feel more forced, more probing. If you’re so lucky to have that type of relationship with your daughter where she tells you EVERYTHING, then you have nothing to worry about, but I was 13 once and as much as I loved my mother, I didn’t share those things with her. She had to ask. I’ll have to ask.
I hate cell phones.