My son has been salivating over a cell phone. Although he is only 9 years old, already some of his friends have their own phone. He loves to play video games, he very much wants to spend time with his friends, and he asks his mother and me to use our phones quite often. Although my wife let’s him play with her phone, I have not allowed him access to mine – it is too important to me to allow someone who doesn’t respect and understand that to use it. I will let him use it someday, I will even provide his own phone one day, but not today…
So when he saw my old IPhone, the one which long ago stopped taking a charge, the phone I held in my hand one day as I went for a run and my sweat destroyed… when he saw it still sitting in my drawer, his eyes lit up. “Can I have this phone Dad?” he asked. “Sure, I said, but it is broken. It doesn’t work anymore.” “Can I have it if I fix it?” he questioned. I thought for a moment and then replied, “Yes, if you can fix it, it will be yours.”
My daughter jumped in at this point. “Hey,” she said. “That’s not fair. He is going to have a phone and I am not,” she whined. “No,” I told her. “It is fair. If he can take what is broken, if he can bring it from the dead and back to life, then it should be his. Yes my son,” I told him, “if you can fix it I will call it yours.”
My son smiled, looked longingly at the phone, and said “OK Dad, do you have a screwdriver that will open these small screws?” “I think I might,” I replied, and I told him where to find it. “Knock yourself out.” I didn’t want to crush his adventurous spirit.
But I only felt it fair to also offer him this: “Son, I believe you will find that you can’t fix it. I tried, and I can’t fix it. Even the ones who created the phone couldn’t get it working right again, that’s why I had to get a new one.” True to form, he tried for about 6 minutes to fix the phone and then gave up – leaving a broken phone and now incomplete mini-screwdriver set strewn about the kitchen counter. I put them away. One day, if he ever discovers how to fix that broken phone, it will most certainly be his.