March 21, 2010

Kacie & Terri, December 2009
Kacie & Mom
Christmas Day 2009

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.  A lot of her Facebook friends, funnily enough, are people who only "know" her through me  ... through her years as a *FootNotes* main character, for instance, or through Boom Room chatter, or through the 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. ("Kacie 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 *I* am.

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 heart-rending/guilt-inducing *CALL 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  ...  just to 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 twenty-seven years.

Happy Birthday, my darling daughter.  I love you!


Your Nice Mommy

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~ nil bastardum carborundum ~

although i MIGHT have to get her involved in the whole "hamster vs. squirrel" debate.