Perfect Example of Why Our Child has a Cell Phone

It’s school vacation week here and since my husband has had to work for most of it, the boys and I have been home and haven’t been able to get out too much. Last night when a friend called and invited Nick(our eleven year old) to go for a swim at the YMCA and then to their home for a sleepover he was pretty excited. Of course I agreed because I wanted him to have some fun with a friend during his vacation. We packed up his bag, said our goodbyes and “I love yous” and off he went.
It was strange, though. I even tweeted at one point that it just doesn’t feel right when we aren’t all home together, especially in the evening. Plus, as a Mom, I just worry/hope that he is having fun and things are going well and that he is just plain safe. Mind you, he has had a couple of sleepovers before and they were at this same child’s home, but still. As it got closer to “bedtime” for him, I decided to give him a call on his cell phone so we could say good night and to hear in his voice that he was having fun. Sure enough, he was!
So, I was relieved and enjoyed the rest of the evening with my hubby while tweeting and watching some television. By the time we finally made to bed, it was about midnight. I always put my cell phone on my bedside table, especially now that we don’t have a land line anymore, and made sure it wasn’t on vibrate “just in case” Nick were to call. Soon I feel asleep snuggled up to my hubby, off to dreamland. Not. For. Long.
At about 1:30a.m. my phone rang. It was the call. The one from Nick that I was hoping wouldn’t come, but did. I think I hit the wrong button on my phone twice and hung up on him. I was panicky, thinking my baby needed me and I was screwing up something as simple as answering the phone. Well, at least it is simple when I am awake and, say, coherent. Finally, our call connected and I heard the teary voice, you know the one that breaks your heart as a Mom because you can’t hug them and hold them, the one that rips out your heart because they can’t get the words out to tell you what is wrong? Yeah, that one. I asked what was wrong and all he could say was that he couldn’t sleep. I asked why and he said he didn’t know and that he fell asleep earlier, but now was awake and it was extremely dark(so much so that he couldn’t even see his friend in the same room) and that he was hearing what sounded like footsteps in the house. Unfamiliar sounds that just aren’t “home” sounds. I should explain that in our home, we have a couple of nightlights that we always have on when we are sleeping. I simply feel safer this way. What broke my heart more was that he explained he had been waiting for about an hour to call me because he didn’t want to wake me and upset me. The knife in my heart. The thought of him laying there feeling so alone with his tears as he “even tried to cry himself to sleep”(his description). I asked if he wanted me to come pick him up as I was actually making my way to my jacket, grabbed the car keys, and headed out the door. Yes, he wanted to come home. And, luckily, it only took about 5 minutes to drive there, especially at that time of the night, er, morning.
We kept talking the entire ride and I explained that he would have to wake up his friend or his parents so they wouldn’t worry about where he was when they woke up. He was too nervous to do that, but I finally convinced him to try, but it didn’t work(at least not with his friend). Apparently, HE was sleeping well. I pulled into the driveway and could hear Nick talking to someone else. One of the grownups woke up when they heard the car and came into the room because she then heard him talking. We quietly packed up his stuff and off we went. Home.

Here is what I learned about this. Choosing to get him a cell phone was a really good decision. If he didn’t have his cell phone in this time of “need” he may have just lay there crying and feeling alone and scared in the dark because he later explained to me that he would have been too nervous to get up and try to find another phone in the house. I have peace of mind knowing that he has this sort of “security blanket” that can always be used to reach me. I told him to never be afraid to call, regardless of the time. I am his Mom. It is my job to be there for him. Always.


  1. Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) says

    I am literally sniffing and trying to hold back tears as I'm reading this. (I am in a room full of women at Mom 2.0 Summit, but a tweet about this post caught my attention.)

  2. We have trac phones…1 for the car and 1 for the kids when they go somewhere without us. I personally do not ant the kids to have cell phones…they are talkers and would kill us in bills! 🙂 the trac fone works for us…peace of mind 🙂

  3. Oh Susan, You are so sweet! Thanks for stopping by. So appreciated! 🙂
    And Trish, I agree on the bill, for sure. We have been fortunate. He follows the rules really well.

  4. My son has a cell phone as well. Its for security and socializing so I chose to give him a pre paid phone.

  5. Awww….I am the same way. Our son is 9 yrs old and he has a cell phone, because he walks to school everyday and we live in such a big city….anything can happen. HUGS to you and your baby!!!!

  6. I think 11 is probably the right age to give children, something, a Trac phone or what have you. I was just wondering this the other day when my 8 yr old told me a couple of kids in her class have their own cell phones already! I like the idea of pre-paid, too. A great way to recycle your old phones when you upgrade is to pass them on to your kids. With parental controls you can figure out from your phone website, it doesn't have to be a financial burden. YOu can even control the time of day they can send and receive texts! Which means no distracting texting during school, etc. I like the idea that cell phones can also pinpoint your child's location. Man, it is so difeerent than when we were kids. Seemed so much simpler then.

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