You pick up the phone. “Hello?”
The sound of heavy breathing.
But I am not afraid. I know it is not a crank call. Caller ID says it is my ten year old son’s friend. He forgot his homework again, because that is apparently what fifth grade boys do. But he still has not said a word.
“Oh hi!” he says with relief that he has been recognized. I smile overhearing his mom, my friend, in the background coaching in a loud whisper, “May I please speak to…”
And yet, they all want their own cell phone. “Please, mom!” “Why not?!” “I’m the only one in my class who doesn’t have one!” “You’re so unfair!” “You’re the meanest mom ever!”
When I am ready for my son to have a cell phone, he will have to earn it by learning to say, “Hello, Mrs. So-and-So. This is…” in a cheerful voice that makes the mom on the other end of the line, my friend, smile knowing how far our boys have come.
Until then, I will know who is calling by my it’s-not-a-crank-call-Caller-ID.