My 12-year old went shopping this past weekend. He had unused gift cards from Target and some cash saved up. After a long wait, he finally decided it was time to go.
So what does a 12-year old boy want when he had money?
Mine wanted an alarm clock.
We first bought a cheap one. Andrew wanted something a little nicer, but I talked him into the most inexpensive one there as I thought he should spend his money on something else, something more fun. I didn’t want him to waste his money on something so…practical.
Well, we took it home and my son was excited. We set it up. Everything look good.
A few minutes later, my younger son cried, “Dad, something’s wrong. Come up here.”
I hurried to the room and saw the clock. The minutes were changing every five seconds. We’d bought too cheap a clock. My older son was disappointed. He’d looked forward to his new acquisition. He’s have to wait until we went back.
We went a second time to Target. He looked at couple of clocks about double the price of the first one. They were nice, but he couldn’t decide. He also liked other alarm clocks, ones that were much nicer. I couldn’t believe he was considering them. However, this time he wasn’t ready to purchase. We left with no clock. He wanted to sleep on it.
On Saturday, we returned to Target. He finally selected a clock, one worth three times what the cheapo version was. We set it up. He knows how to set the alarm. He also likes radio (so he can listen to Braves games).
Had to ask him though. Why a clock radio?
Apparently, he wanted to get up on his own. He wanted some control over his mornings.
He wanted to take some responsibility for his life.
I was impressed with my soon-to-be teenager. However, the practicality of the gift was hard to fathom. (He did pick up a couple of DVDs he wanted, so he would at least enjoy those.) I mentioned it to my wife.
“He’s only twelve. He shouldn’t be so obsessed with time,” my wife responded.
“I was,” I said.
“Then why were you so surprised about his choice? It means he’s just like you.”
And that may be the best thing of all.
Readers, are you ever surprised by the things your kids want to buy themselves?