The “Cool Mom” moment

It takes a lot to impress my 15 year old son at this phase in his life when he thinks he knows everything. However, today I accomplished something that earned me his admiration, an extra big hug and a bouquet of lilacs. Let me side track briefly by saying that not only did I impress him, but I also overcame all the obstacles Apple puts up to limit us to buying music only from their iTunes Store.

My son enjoys music that most teenagers don’t even know about. He and a friend are fans of King Crimson, who put out their first album in 1969. The group did not sell out to iTunes so the boys searched for the CDs on Ebay and bought as many as they could find. The only problem was that he doesn’t own a CD player and his portable device is an Ipad. This morning he presented me the stack of CDs and told me he would do anything I asked of him if I could load the music onto it. While he was at school I tackled the challenge with determination. Maybe I wanted to prove myself to him in this age of technology, or maybe I just wanted to make him happy. Either way, it was an arduous process which included  backing up his Ipad to the PC and then importing and syncing 11 albums. There were long delays while all his files transferred to the computer and it was frustrating at times. This was not how I had planned to spend my day.

Fortunately , by the time he came home I had managed to complete the challenge and nearly 80 songs from 11 albums were loaded onto his device. I received a huge smile and a big hug, as well as a “Wow, Mom  you did it! Thank you soooo much!”. Now he is happily mowing the lawn with his new music blasting on his headphones. And I am savoring a “Cool Mom Moment”- because I know it won’t last long.

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The New iPad3

English: iPad 2 back with SmartCover at the ri...

Image via Wikipedia

As the buzz about the new iPad3 hits the nation, my son is caught up in the glorification of its improved features. It is thinner, faster, has a better  “retina” screen (something about the way the eye can’t see the pixels because they are so refined) and incorporates voice commands like Siri. Sure it sounds cool, but is it really that much better? My son received an iPad2 for his birthday six months ago. He has been thrilled with it and he certainly has the best gadget in the house.

Apparently it is not enough for him. He wants to upgrade to the iPad3 and I do not approve. I think it shows a lack of appreciation for what he has and disrespect towards the giver of the gift. He disagrees, of course, and has made a plan to upgrade with his own money. I don’t think he realizes how hard he will have to work to accomplish his goal, but I decided to allow him to move ahead with it.

Together we established a list of jobs he could do in order to earn some cash. Some of these I vetoed, as they were expected all along. Others I gave a short term approval, hoping it would change things in the long run. Practicing his guitar without a reminder falls into that category. As much as he hates it when I nag him, I dislike doing it even more. Then there are the opportunities to do something really helpful, like mowing the lawn or helping paint the deck. He is also going to look for some babysitting jobs.

All of this has to fit in around his homework, his tennis practices and games, and the time he needs to spend with his new rabbit (another story). I told him if any of these are compromised because he is trying to earn money, I will not pay him. He still needs to keep his priorities in order.

Part of me is hoping that either he will realize he doesn’t have time to accomplish his goal or that the buzz will wear off as user reviews come in and he will decide it is not worth buying. It’s not that I want him to fail; but rather that I’d like him to come to that conclusion on his own, without me forbidding him to do it.

I have a feeling that he will prevail, though. He has determination and a strong will to succeed. My only consolation if he achieves this will be that he will have learned the value of working hard for something that he really wants. Now I just have to resist the urge to buy his iPad2. It would be a shame to let it go.