*This cheery backpack is available on Amazon for $223.95. It is available for Amazon Prime shipping. You’re welcome.
I had a two month fight with my husband about why our almost 12-year-old daughter needed a cell phone.
I will be honest, I didn’t want to weigh in about this. I really did not. I wanted to glaze over this, and let someone else speak about this topic. However, when I come across things that are uncomfortable*? I am going to write about it anyway.
As I have said before, I am of that dubious class of 1999. I was in my Spanish III class when the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO happened. I remember watching the news my Senior year at Jennings Senior High on April 20th. As a 17-year-old kid, I couldn’t/didn’t know how to process what the hell I was seeing! If I’m honest, my mother didn’t have time or the vernacular to tell me about her concerns. Meanwhile, I had a sister whom was a high school Freshman, and a brother that was in sixth-grade.
My! Look how life comes full circle.
My oldest daughter is now in sixth grade, and I am twenty years out of the halls of Jennings Senior High School. Since my graduation a score ago, there have been so many more school shootings…and the most devastating one was at Sandy Hook Elementary. Adam Lanza killed what is equivalent to a classroom full of children.
Children, who now in some cases, are old enough to be my children’s age.
In the rush, with the rush as most parents are familiar with, we are in the thick of getting things ready for them to go to school. This means we are getting all the things on these exorbitant lists so the kids can have all they need. The one thing we have always done for our kids is let them pick their own backpacks.
The can be as plain or outrageous as they want! This year as we finished shopping, I thought about the backpacks that are $200. They are $200 because they are bulletproof. That word ‘bulletproof’ was bitter in my mouth, and drying to my throat! I thought for a moment about getting my children one. I truly did, and still am.
One of my jobs as a parent, as a mother is to protect my children. I’m a Mama Bear! I have to and always will take care of my Baby Bears! In conjunction with thinking of buying this backpack which is the equivalent of a cell phone bill (or half a car payment), I thought of getting her a phone.
My husband said she was ‘too young’. But I told him this:
“She’s about to be 12. The world is crazy!”
The world is crazy.
It shook me how a cell phone was a luxury when I was in high school, to a necessity before she can get high school! I was struck that I had to argue with him about it! This is the reality of the world we currently live in. And it made me so scared for her, and my younger daughter. As a mother, I have to deflect or subvert those types of fears. But this one was persistent!
My dark fear is my babies not coming home to me because someone had a bad day. If someone is mad their sibling is dating interracially. If they feel that there weren’t enough girls that like them. If they lost their job to someone that didn’t look like them! My fear is my babies being okay! Or being able to tell me they are okay if they are huddled in a bathroom because a monster has an assault rifle!
If a $200 backpack or an iPhone will alleviate that stress? And protect them? So be it.
This is parenting in the new millennium in America.