I've heard it from my friends who have teenagers:"Kids today don't talk, they text."
This is true. But I've recently learned that there is a positive side to this new trend: The possibility of new communication with our kids.
My oldest daughter recently got her first phone. In reality, it is more for my benefit more than it is for hers. But let's keep this a secret. It has already paid dividends in allowing me to more easily coordinate activities, play dates and carpools. She is also very responsible about checking in and keeping me informed of not only what is going on with her, but with her sister, her babysitter and her father. At night, it's lights out for the phone. She hands it over to me until a respectable hour. I read the texts on the phone - a pre-arranged agreement between the two of us prior to the purchase.
I was told by friends to get an unlimited texting plan. Luckily, I heeded this advice. Otherwise, the cost of the phone would have far outweighed the benefits.
The best part is that she talks to me in text messages in a way that she rarely speaks to me in person.
"How was your day," I say on a typical evening.
"Fine," she responds.
"What did you do?" I ask, genuinely interested.
"Nothing," she says.
Now, instead of vague generalizations, I get detailed descriptions of what she is doing - sometimes even a play-by-play of how it is going down. Partly, this is because she only has a handful of friends with phones, so her options for texting people are limited.
I know it will not always be cool to text your mother, but as long as it is, I'm going to enjoy it. I even get the occasional "Luv u 2."
Now that's priceless.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.