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ipod Touch … Within Reach

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.  ~Unknown

While Kyle was texting me, I took a picture of this display in Barnes & Nobles & sent it to him. 4/22/12

This story to me is so unbelievable I had to share it!  My sister and I were just talking about Kyle’s accomplishment and we’re both kind of in shock!  Kyle is an amazing young man, but wow is he resourceful and goal focused!  Let me take you back to this past Christmas and the Family Time Through an ipod Touch.  Yes, I got Kyle an ipod Touch, engraved and everything.  I debated on the size of the ipod verses the price before making my purchase.  It was unanimously decided upon by mom, Nicole, my friend Kelly and myself to go with the 4th Generation 8GB ipod Touch.  I chose the white one since it was different from my iphone and I thought he might like it.  Everyone, including myself, thought it would be good to try Kyle out on the device to ensure he was going to take care of it and to see if he was going to like it, which I really wasn’t worried about either way since Kyle had his Nintendo DS for a long time and was nothing but responsible with it.  So the ipod Touch was the next step in Kyle’s life long journey of upgrading electronic devices.  Well, I didn’t realize he was ready to upgrade so soon, less than three months later.

About a month ago, Kyle mentioned that he ran out of memory on his ipod.  I thought, ‘What the heck?’ and sure enough he had so many games on there it sucked up the space.  What is really amazing to me, it wasn’t even because of music, photos or videos, the memory was sucked up from games!  Holy smokes, how many games does one little boy need?  Well, I can’t say this shocked me, considering all the while I’ve seen monitoring every purchase made.  You see, even though I have an email address for Kyle and he has his own iTunes store account, every purchase is emailed directly to me for my review.  Not to mention I have parental locks on everything so he cannot order games out of a selected criteria and nothing marked EXPLICIT from the iTune store.  Yep, over the months, Kyle has certainly put his iTunes money that he received from Christmas or Easter to good use.  No waste there.  That’s another thing, that account is not associated to any credit card, just to play it safe, I have it set-up so it only accepts iTunes money.

Kyle's piggy bank I made for his 3rd Birthday c. 2003

Kyle has mentioned this lack of memory dilemma a time or two.  At first, I was kind of insulted, after all that was his Christmas gift from me and I had it engraved especially for him.  I told Kyle to be happy he has an ipod and I reminded him it was a Christmas gift.  Kyle cares, I can’t say that he doesn’t, but let’s get real, he wanted the larger device.  After all, I’m sure that’s a big topic between him and his friends, not that I really care what the kids are saying.  It did however bother me that Kyle wanted to add more music, specifically the Star Wars sound tracks but he couldn’t.  Of course it didn’t bother me that much.

Although, I knew I was headed for an argument, or at very least the ipod problem discussion was about to escalate, when I recently walked Kyle to his CCD class a few Sunday’s ago.  We happened to be a little early and one girl was sitting there playing a game on her ipod Touch.  I saw Kyle’s eyes become very interested in what she was playing.  Kyle asked the standard questions, “What game are you playing?” “What’s your favorite game?” and then the dreaded, “What size is yours?”.  NO!  She responded without looking up from her game to answer his questions, including saying it was a 32GB.  Kyle just looked at me like, ‘How could she have a bigger ipod Touch?’

Well as the weeks rolled around, I still didn’t care that Kyle had only an 8GB.  I reminded him that some children are not even lucky enough to receive that much and I didn’t want him to be a slave to material things.  Well, that was in one ear and out the other.  Then, Kyle did the unthinkable.  As we sat down for dinner after swimming, Kyle commented that he was going to free up some space by removing pictures.  Yikes! No!  I don’t like to delete pictures especially ones that Kyle took, I love seeing things from his point of view.  The pictures where of his Lego creations he built and wanted to show me.  How could I let his injustice happen?  Of course I could have just had him download the images to iphoto on the computer and then delete the pictures from his ipod, but it was the point that he chose his games over his digital memories.

Kyle's-Tally-Sheet-Aunt-Heather-PiperOk, I give.  After weeks of listening to him comment on what games he wanted, and the music he wants to download, I finally made a deal with him.  I only did this because he never once whined or complained, he just spoke of his lack of memory in an as-a-matter-of-fact way.  I told him, if he saves up enough money, I will take him to the apple store to pick out the ipod Touch he wanted.  I even said that if he wanted to sell his current ipod I will help him out, but it’s solely up to him.  He had to earn the money and do the leg work, including reviewing the different sizes of ipods and how much he would get for his.  Next thing I know, Kyle was online looking at the different options comparing prices.  He even had an epiphany, he said, “Aunt Heather if I wouldn’t have just purchased all those Legos I would have $120 to spend.”  I agreed and said, “I told you, you might want to save your money for something really big instead of constantly blowing it all.”  Yes, I did it, I pulled an ‘I told you so’.  Just at that moment, I saw the gears moving in his cranium cavity.  He turned to me and said, “Hey Aunt Heather can I take the money out of my pig?”  You see I made Kyle this ceramic piggy bank for his second birthday, and over the years we throw loose change in there or money he randomly earns.  At that moment I thought there might have been 30 or 40 dollars, maybe 50 bucks tops.  Sure.

The minute Kyle got to my parents house he headed for the pig and began extracting the money.  He took most of Friday evening sorting and counting the cold hard cash.  Wow, was I wrong!  There was about one hundred and forty eight dollars!  I said jokingly, “If I would have known that Kyle, I would have drained the pig a while ago.”  He just laughed and was all of a sudden very proud of himself for his efforts and hopeful, that he wasn’t going to take too long to save up for his new purchase.

All weekend, Kyle was asking my parents if he could work for them to earn money.  At one point my mom was going through her old mail and found a Christmas card address to Kyle containing five bucks.  As he kept recovering money, he kept a running tally.  Now getting to the amazing part.  Without my dad slipping him extra money and him truly earning it and finding change, Kyle gathered three hundred twenty six dollars and forty one cents!  In less than a week!  With loose change, money found and some earned!  I could never pull that off but yet a ten year old just did!  Not to burst his bubble, but I had to bring him back to some sort of reality once the final total was discovered.  I mentioned that he had to take tax into consideration because he was going to have to cover that too.  He gave me a sigh, but he understood that he was to raise all the money himself.

As we left, I heard Kyle say to my dad, “Pap pap make sure you get a list of chores for me to do so I can earn money.”  Kyle really wanted to earn his money!  He said to me in the car, “Aunt Heather what are you going to need me to do at your house?”  He usually helps me with the lawn and pulling weeds.  He is determined to reach his goal, and fast.  He is seeing the light at end of the tunnel.  Monday he texted me, saying he was trying to earn extra money around the house too.  You go buddy!  Hard word does pay off!  I am just proud of you for your persistence and hard work.  He is really a goal focused little man.

Published inCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyLEGO'sMilestoneObservation & ImaginationPatience

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