It is my children’s misfortune to have a mother with a severe Facebook addiction. I love being able to catch up with friends I seldom see. I love how it legitimizes my natural nosiness. I love seeing pictures of my newest, tiny relatives, pink-cheeked and precious, fresh on my screen every morning. I check it from my phone several times a day, and I really don’t care if people think I’m wasting time. They can go be judgy somewhere else.
I joined Facebook when my kids were little. Back then, none of their problems seemed private. I posted pictures of their earnest notes to Santa Claus, talked about their various medical issues, even put up videos of their first stumbling attempts at new instruments. I’m sure I’ve discussed behavior issues and complained about bad days. As they’ve gotten older, though, I began to feel that perhaps I didn’t own the copyright to their lives. Somewhere along the way my kiddos grew up and acquired their own dignity.
We all know that tweens are notorious for being easily mortified. I remember hating the sight of my mom’s brag book. She didn’t call it that, but I bet you know what I’m talking about. Didn’t all our moms have purse-sized photo albums? Grandmas, too. I used to fantasize about stealing it because my mom and I had contradictory notions of what pictures should be available for public viewing. She liked the ones that made me look “sweet,” while I simply vetoed any photograph with me in it at all. What can I say? The pre-teen years were brutal to me. Mother Nature can be blamed for my standing-on-end red hair and pre-braces snaggle-teeth; however the Battlestar Galactica glasses were no one’s fault but my own. Honestly, I INVENTED Awkward Family Photos. And they were all kept, safe and sound, in that little brag book. As much as I detested that book, I must admit that kids today have it far worse than I ever did. We may have gotten rid of headgear, but we also invented social media. That brag book was nothing compared to the scope and reach of Facebook.
So kids, I want you to know that I’m trying hard to be careful not to stomp all over your dignity in my desire to connect with my peers. What used to be my story has now become your story.
But just so you know, mom-to-mom conversations at Starbucks are still fair game. Love you bunches.