by Kimberly Jensen
My first son turned 13 yesterday. For each of our children's birthdays we give them a new responsiblity and a new privilege. This time, the privilege and the responsiblity came in the same package, a cell phone. While many of his friends (and many younger kids as well) have been toting cell phones for months now, we made our son wait. My husband and I love to share milestones with our kids by having them look forward to something and making it very special. We gave him the cell phone, but he must wait a year to receive "texting." He was fine with it because he knows he must "earn" the next privilege. Another privilege he received this year was a nice dinner out with just his parents. We went to a fine dining steakhouse where he ordered an appetizer, steak dinner and dessert. He sat with us and shared his first year middle school stories, challenges and struggles. As I listened, I decided that I was the privileged one at his birthday dinner because I got to listen to my now-teenage son share his desires, dreams and thoughts. I also got a new responsibility, raising my son to be a fine young man!