My 12-year old girl is getting to the age where things can be very confusing... for me.
Many times she acts like she is 18. Sometimes, she is eight.
But the bottom line is I am watching my little baby disappear in front of my eyes.
If you think this blog is headed down Sadness Avenue, it is not.
I am really enjoying watching her grow up.
We listen to a lot of the same music -- except for Bob Dylan. For some reason, she thinks he sounds whiny. What does she know?
We enjoy a lot of the same movies and TV shows.
Most of all, we enjoy each other.
I hope that continues.
One thing that we don’t have in common, is a cell phone.
I know it’s only a short time away, but somehow we have successfully held off getting her a cell phone for the time being.
Being unemployed, it’s easy to justify not wanting the extra monthly costs, but I think the truth is, we, her parents, are not ready for that next step of independence.
I certainly understand the upside of her having a phone if she ever needs to contact us, but thankfully, our little girl’s schedule is pretty simple at the moment.
School, dance, home, sleep. Rinse and Repeat.
We got her (and her siblings) an iPod Touch last year to keep them on the fast track to technology and also provide them with another distraction from doing their homework.
The second part was unintentional.
It took them about three seconds to realize that they couldn’t text using the iPod touch.
It took them about five seconds to find an application to do so.
So far, we have denied each of their 37 requests to download the app, but I’m sure its only a matter of time.
But as part of the tech age, we have opened up an email address for each of the kids, including the six-year old.
I monitor their email accounts, so just in case I see an important email before they do, I can notify them.
Who I am kidding, I want to know about their business.
Thankfully, they are GREAT kids and I hope to keep it that way.
Most of the emails they get are from people that I either know or have heard of, so it caught my eye when my 12-year got a pair of emails yesterday afternoon with no subject from a person I didn’t recognize.
I opened the emails and found one with a picture of a Nazi Swastika and another with information on the SS Hitler Youth.
As you might imagine, that sent my wandering mind into a tailspin.
I realized quickly that jumping to any conclusion would be counterproductive, but as a father and a Jew, not necessarily in that order, it shook me.
I’m sure my little angel had an answer to what this was all about, but I couldn’t wait to find out.
I calmly picked her up after school, inquired how her day went, checked in with her brother and sister and then asked if she knew a Kyle J.
She knows that I monitor her email and as far as I can tell, she is fine with that.
I’m sure that clock is ticking too.
Well, I was happy to hear that Kyle J is a classmate and they are working on World War II in her history class.
Wait a minute, my innocent 12-year old girl is getting emails from a boy?
Well, it’s pretty clear my little girl is not so little anymore.
With a little help from a school film and a conversation with mom, she is way more up to speed on the birds and the bees than I ever was.
With a little help from her history teacher and some emails from a classmate, she is learning about Hitler.
I guess it’s time for me to teach her about texting.