my son got a phone

I broke down and gave my 12-year-old son a phone last night.


When I was 12, it was 1984, and even George Orwell did not imagine that a 12-year-old would be walking around with an electronic device that is so far from a toy.


Here we are in 2022 and it turns out that Jack was literally the only phone-less child in the entire 7th grade.


I’m not a mean mom. And my kids would say that I’m not really that strict either.


Jack actually didn’t complain much about not having a phone, which made it easier for me to hold off.


And he was constantly in touch with his friends through video games like Roblox and the age-old game called human connection such as talking face to face (remember that?).


But it was time.


So we gave him his first phone last night.


And the best part about giving it to him last night is that it was so RANDOM. A total surprise.


In fact, my daughter captured it well in a photo text she sent to her friends.




 

I remember one time my mom gave me a flowered shirt when I was little and simply said to me, “It’s just for no reason.”


And I was like, a just for no reason gift?? The reason must be that I’m doing well in school! I’m a great kid! I’m the favorite! (Not).


I was just so happy, and for some reason I remember that gift more than I remember all those Christmas and birthday gifts before it.


So I held onto that memory and last night it went something like this: my family and I gathered in Jack’s bedroom and as the 5 of us were talking, we heard a phone ring.


Jack looked up and followed his Toucan Sam-like nose (that is another 1980s reference for those of you who also ate Fruit Loops) and he quickly discovered a new phone under his pillow.


His face, his eyes, his gratitude! I wish I could have bottled it.


But I’ll remember it forever.




 

I wanted to share it with you since maybe you’ll want to give a “just for no reason” gift too.


It doesn’t have to cost money either – putting a “just for no reason” note in your son’s backpack, or doing “just for no reason” manicure on your daughter’s nails, or a “just for no reason” hug with your partner.


It all works the same way.


Any version of time and attention you can give to someone you love is a gift.


This is what I mean when I talk about “adding play” to your days. Play isn’t always an action you take to DO something, it’s also an energy you exude.


A playfulness. A surprise, or a moment, or a gift… some element of lightness has to come from your spirit with the intention to lighten someone else up.


You’ll feel good too.


With fierce love,
Alison

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