I was always really pleased when I had boys as I thought ‘yeah, none of all that girly business to worry about’. No worries on clothes, boys just like tracksuit and trainers, no worries on girlfriends, boys can’t be doing with girls – too yucky & prefer a football, just one nice easy ride and it has been up until now! I’m not talking about being in trouble at school or anything like that, just about letting them grown up, find their feet and become their own person.
‘Ronaldinho’ is now 9 years old and has been talking about NEEDING a mobile phone for ages. I’m like why do you need a phone, who’s going to ring you, you’re friends don’t have phones and you don’t go anywhere without me or your dad?? Maybe I just don’t get it and I’ve forgotten what its like to be a 9 year old who wants to be old before their time! I keep saying you have plenty of time to be older when your older, enjoy being a child – yes I know I sound like my mother… Anyway back to the phone, I say no, dad says no, I say no, dad says maybe, I say no, dad says when you do x,y and z and it goes forwards and backwards like a yoyo. Now I know this phone is linked to going to the park to play football – by himself with his friends and I think this is where my problem kicks in. The friends we’re talking about are 11 and 12 years old, nice boys but are already in high school, maybe are a bit more streetwise and not so innocent looking, he’s still at primary and only in year 4 surely that’s too young to go out by yourself?!
Now when I think back to when I was 9 I used to play out in the street with my sister and friends without adult supervision, I also used to walk to the corner shop and get milk and stuff for my mum, I even used to walk home from school by myself, all at 9 years old. But all that seems irrelevant when I’m talking about my boy, my baby boy. I have this huge urge just to scoop him up and wrap him in my arms and not let go until he’s about 30 years old! All I can think of are all the bad things that could happen – he could fall and hurt himself really badly, he could come across a bad crowd of boys and end up in a fight, they could steal his phone (if he had one), a stranger could try and kidnap him, he could get knocked over by a car, they all sound a bit extreme but I just can’t get them out of my head. Am I really being a bit crazy because it seems perfectly normal to me?
I’ve lost track the amount of times ‘Arsene’ and I have talked about this. He thinks we need to give him a little bit of responsibility, a little bit of space to spread his wings and to make him a bit more streetwise. He goes to high school in two years and ‘Arsene’ wants him to know how to cope with doing things on his own before he has to do it for real. I can go along with that so I decided to give it a try and let him go to the local shop by himself and pick up some biscuits. Well he wasn’t quite by himself, the other two a I stood at the bottom of the hill and watched him walk up the hill, cross the road, go in the shop and come back to us at the bottom of the hill – I know I know that’s not quite going on your own but it’s a start isn’t it?!
At the weekend we made a family trip to town and we ended up in the phone shop, I got an upgrade and yep you guessed it ‘Ronaldinho’ got his first mobile phone…. After looking at all the different phones (iPhone 5, Samsung, Sony – yeh right!) we settled on a nice basic black Nokia. Now I’m amazed that a basic phone has so many gadgets – radio, camera, even access to the internet (scary)- when I got my first phone many moons ago it just had dialing and a few naff games, how times have changed!
So it seems I’ve lost the battle, well half the battle. My 9 year old has his first mobile phone and I must say he is very grateful and is looking after it very well. It’s constantly attached to him with his earplugs stuffed into his ears and he’s constantly checking how much credit he has left. I must admit I may have sent him some text messages which actually feels sweet to do and he’s text me back, gosh a text from my son!
I said I’d lost half the battle, I’m not ready to let him spread his wings just quite yet. So whilst he’s gained a little independence he won’t be trotting off to the park on his own just quite yet. I’m seeing the phone as a stepping stone and gradually I’ll get there and let him fly like an eagle, if I have my way though it won’t be for another 2 years at least hee hee!!!