“My friend wishes I had text.”
“Okay….” I said. We’ve already had this conversation. She knows that it doesn’t matter to me what her friend wishes she had or didn’t have.
“My friend’s mom wishes I had text, too.”
By the look on her face, I knew she expected me to crack, crumble, and crash into a monthly text plan. She knows that I like her friend and her friend’s mom. The mom is my friend. So how could I resist such reasoning?
I told her, “Honey, I don’t make decisions based on what your friend’s mom wishes you had or didn’t have. It would be wrong for me to make decisions for you based on what other parents do. You’re not their daughter. You’re mine!”
See, I’ve learned a secret that my tween hasn’t learned yet: You can still be friends even if you choose a different cell phone plan. And the best friends are the ones who stay friends even if you don’t text them back.
Parenting is tough. We hate disappointing our kids. It’s hard to be the parent who doesn’t allow what other parents do. But the Friend I most want to please is God. I want to filter all of my decisions through His goals for me, and my child. He has entrusted her to me! He’s holding me accountable.
As parents of tweens, we held off on our kids having phones and texting plans because we didn’t want them to have some of the social pressures that come with being more accessible. We didn’t want them to have to worry about how to respond to text-driven gossip or stress over what it meant when a friend failed to include an emoticon at the end of a sentence. We wanted them to have just a couple more years of freedom from the angst and turmoil and decision-making that are often the byproduct of owning your own personal phone. We wanted to give them a head start on growing up before they would be expected to behave like a grownup, with a powerful piece of technology in their pocket.
So with another scoop of ice cream, I said softly, “Sweetie, before long, you’ll have a phone. Can you just be patient and trust me?”
This, I believe, is what God (who is the best parent of all) asks of all of his children throughout their whole lives. Will I trust Him when other tweens get a phone and I don’t yet? Will I trust him when other singles get a spouse and I don’t yet? Will I trust him when other couples get a baby and I don’t yet?
Basically, it’s this: Will I trust him with this timeline of my little life–knowing that He sees much deeper and wider and with more perspective? That’s what I want for both my kids and for me.