Kacie & Mom
She's only been on Facebook for a month and she's already got 191
friends. It took me over a year just to crack fifty.
I recognize a lot of the names on her list: her siblings, her
cousins, friends from childhood, a handful of former
classmates, a sprinkling of aunts and uncles and assorted
other family members.
of her Facebook friends, funnily enough, are people who only "know" her
through me ... through her years as a *FootNotes*
character, for instance, or through Boom Room chatter, or
photos I keep next to my desk at the office. I was
on the phone
at work a couple of days ago when Marie, my friend/co-worker/partner in
workplace dysfunction, stuck a Post-It note
on the desk in front of me.
Polen has sent me
a friend request?" )
When I nodded at her that yes, it was OK to accept, Marie
beamed and said "Now I've friended all three of your children!"
Pretty soon my daughter will be friends with more of my co-workers than
She doesn't actually seem to log on very often, from what I can tell,
and during the rare occasions when she is online, she doesn't linger.
I suspect she may be logging on from a public library, or
from a friend's computer. Mostly she sends and accepts
friendship requests, joins the odd group here or there, posts a quick
comment on a friend's wall ... then *poof,* she's
gone again. I've never managed to engage her in an i.m. conversation.
She has yet to acknowledge anything I've posted on her wall.
I'm not going to hold my breath, waiting for her to join me
as a neighbor in FarmYoFishWorldVille.
But that's OK. It's good enough, just to know she's out
there, and that we're "friends," and that I have a way to communicate
with her again.
A social networking site is not the ideal way to maintain a
mother/daughter relationship, of course. Neither is an online
journal, or text-messaging, or staticky thirty-second phone calls every
other month. But for the mother who resides 43,897,621 Zip
Codes away from her Adult Tots, any
means of connection is valuable.
This is especially true when the Adult Tot in question is the one you
worry about the most ... and hear from the least.
And so far, I've been pretty non-obnoxious about the whole Facebook
thing, if I do say so myself. Yes, *I* had to send HER a
friend request. (And then I had to wait a week after that to be
accepted: it was a little bit like waiting to hear back after a job
interview.) And yes, there's the whole
191-friends-in-one-month thing: it makes my 149-in-two-and-a-half-years
seem like pretty small potatoes in comparison. But still.
I think I've shown remarkable restraint. I'm not
bombarding her with messages every day, or checking every eleven and a
half minutes to see if she's been online, or posting
YOUR MOTHER AND
SHE'LL BUY YOU A PONY!*
messages on her wall for all the world to see. (Although I do
quite pointedly and manipulatively post old
journal entries about
her childhood, every few days ...
see if I get a nibble.) Mostly what I do is observe, and wait, and
smile when she friends another one of my co-workers ...
... and love her on Facebook just
as much as I've loved her everywhere and everyway else, for the last
Happy Birthday, my darling daughter. I love you!
to throw a rock?