As parents, we have this recurring nightmare that our child keeps shattering our iPhone. In my case it wasn’t a dream, it was reality. For me, it was an iPhone and my beloved, two-week old Apple watch. First World problems, right?
I think back to my pre-parent days when I would judge my parent friends whose children kept shattering their phones. I didn’t understand why it kept happening. Just don’t give them your phone. Simple as that. Kids should be playing with toys and reading books, not playing with an expensive electronic device to keep them occupied.
Boy, was I naive.
I get it now. I sound like a total millenial when I say this, but sometimes our phones are the only thing that can get us through a dinner out, a doctor’s appointment, or a long car ride. Not to mention, kids are quick little suckers. All of the sudden, your phone magically appears in their hands. They are sneaky, much like ninjas.
The death of my iPhone was totally my fault. Words to the wise: don’t let your child play with your phone when you just put sunscreen all over their body. Slippery hands lead to iPhone deaths. For some reason, the death of the iPhone didn’t sting very much.
My husband surprised me with my first Apple watch on Christmas Day. I didn’t think we could afford it so needless to say, it was pretty darn special. I’m not really sure who to blame for its death, but for now, I’m going to blame it on Apple. It popped off of my wrist while my son was struggling to get out my arms. He is on the move and being carried is no longer an option.
While I’m still in mourning over my uninsured watch, the death of these electronic devices got me thinking. (Warning: I am about to get really deep here, guys.) Sure, it was just a phone and just a watch, but they are the start of the many “breaks” I’m going to endure as a parent. My son is likely going to break his bones and have his heart broken, which in turn is going to break my heart to see him in pain. I don’t think there is a way to fully prepare ourselves for all of the "breaks" of parenting.
I also started thinking about how the watch got broken in the first place. It happened because my son was fighting to get out of my arms. He didn’t want me to hold him, he wanted to walk and explore. In sounding completely dramatic, is this the beginning of him no longer needing me?
I’ve heard older parents say to soak up every minute of your children needing you and demanding your attention, because there will come a time when they don’t. There may come a time when it’s no longer going to be “cool” to hang out with mom. Luckily, I still have several years to prepare for that devastation.
What have I realized from this whole debacle other than needing a better band for my new Apple watch? I have realized that as parents, all we can do is support our children and give them room to flourish even if it hurts us to do so. Whether we like it or not, there is going to come a time when we have to let them go explore the world on their own. We can’t hold them and protect them forever. I have always said that one of my greatest goals as a parent is for my children to always enjoy being around me so if they do, I will know that I’ve done something right.