I’m not sure at what age kids begin to talk on the phone with friends. But today Elliot initiated a phone call to his classmate to find each other on a video game server.
They exchanged (mine and his mother’s phone number) on Zoom chat and set a time to talk. Elliot counted down the minutes, and when I was punching in the number he asked me what he should say. I told him that if his mother picks up, you should say, “Hello or hi” and “My name is Elliot, …..friend. May I speak with him on the phone?” He smiled and took a deep breath.
After a ring or two, his friend answered, but Elliot tuning out the voice that answered began to say verbatim “Hello, my name is Elliot…” I motioned him to stop and put my hand to my ear indicating he should hear the voice. Once he realized it a kid’s voice, he smiled and shook his head as he put his hand on his forehead. Even still, you could see his grin. Ellis is in on it too, and now 3 of them are playing.
This is a big day for them! I feel they are growing up and finding their own voices. They continued to chat and laugh while they played games, but when Elliot had a question he asked me. I whispered that he should ask the question to his friend, not me. Making that transition from me talking for them to speaking up for themselves.
This gets me off the hook for playing video games with them for a while. They insist on teaching me how to play their video games even though I die early into the game or accidentally kill my teammates. I pretend to hate it: but I secretly think it’s sweet they want to play with me, the videogaming “noob.”
The cliche “they grow up too fast” is ringing true for me today.