Let the texting begin!

Normally I am not a fan of kids having phones in general. But when my son started walking home from school this year and getting home before I did, I agreed it was time for an ’emergency’ cell phone.

Although its primary use is still calling me to let me know he’s in the house safely, I’ve noticed it insidiously expanding, little by little. A couple of his friends are in the same situation and they call each other now-no more asking if I can call so-and-so’s mom for a play date. His phone’s ringtone has migrated from the generic beeps it came with to a loud vocal of ‘Peanut Butter Jelly Time’. A picture of our basset hound is on the front display. My son has firmly claimed his telephone territory.

Recently I found him tapping away at it and wondered what number he was programming in. Then it dawned on me-he was texting.


It also quickly dawned on me that I don’t even think we have a text plan. Time to look into that, right? Casually I asked him who he was texting and he colored up and said in a very off-hand way, “I’m just texting V.”

“V? How did you get V’s number?”

“We exchanged numbers when they came over for dinner.”

“Oh. Well, what are you texting her about?”

“Just about my PSP. And stuff.”

And so it went. V is the daughter of one of my best friends. She and W bonded over Mexican hot chocolate many times at the Kopi Café in Andersonville when W was a wee preschooler and V a mature kindergartener. If he’s texting a girl, I have to say, I’m pleased it’s her.

She is about a year and a half older than W and is already the sort of super-cool, librarian-chic, rock and roll, violin-playing girl that any hip 10-year-old boy might want to talk to, if he were caught dead talking to a girl.

Case in point: When W’s best friend J came over, another text buzzed in. W quickly picked up and started tapping away.

“Who’s that?” asked J, trying to look over W’s shoulder with interest.

“Oh, it’s just my friend V.”

“V? Who’s V?” asked J in confusion.

“Oh, you know,” says W, with a super casual cool, “she’s just a friend of mine in Chicago. I’m telling her we’ve got stuff to do now, though.”

As J’s impressed gaze lingered on the cell phone, I could almost see into the future. A future with the same short, ‘please don’t embarrass me mom’ answers, the same boys, only taller and even harder to pin down than they are now, telling a cute girl they have to go do ‘stuff’ now-and the same flying fingers.

I have definitely got to learn to text faster so I can keep up.

Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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