Tuesday, May 12, 2009
While other Jewish mothers may kvetch when their grown children don't keep in touch, or share more of their lives, I peek into my daughters' pursuits whenever I please.
Instead of sitting by the phone or waiting for an email to learn what they’re up to, I employ technology supposedly too tricky for my Social Security set. I joined the online social networking sites Facebook and Twitter and am now able to lurk on the sidelines of my kids’ lives.
There was my daughter, Faith, uploading videos of my granddaughter Betsy playing drums or sashaying with a hoola hoop. I hung around and watched as her Facebook Friends weighed in on the child's talent and adorableness. Then I, too, made an appropriate loving comment. No need for a guilt-edged, "You share these with friends? You couldn’t have shown them to me first?”
My other daughter, Jill, was the one who urged me to join Twitter, "It's fun," she said. "Just give it a try." Now I wonder if my youngest regrets her noodge, for after a day of not seeing any of her Tweets, I posted, "Where's Jill?" Within the hour, she returned with this snarky response, "Worst idea in the world, encouraging your Jewish mother to join Twitter."
Therein lies a bit of danger in my trespassing: Jill and I nearly got into a cyber squabble after I publicly shot back, "This from the child I spent 10 hours of labor with." She became worried. I received a private message, "We're only kidding, right Mom?" I let her stew for a bit and then answered, "Of course, I laughed when I read it." She begged me to repost my reply out of our private dialogue so her Twitter followers would know she and her mom were still buddies.
Admittedly, some of my friends think my computer creeping is well, creepy. "Your daughters should call," one harrumphs, "after all, you're their mother. Why should you have to chase after them?"
Her indignation sent me back to my young adulthood and conversations with my own mother about my lack of timely reporting in. "Oh, so it's you," she would say when I phoned, as if I was a black sheep who had gone missing for a decade and suddenly turned up.
I knew my cue. "Sorry, Mom," I would say, I meant to call, but…"
"No, that's okay," she'd interrupt, "as long as you're alive."
When I had kids of my own, I vowed not to employ guilt. My daughters would willingly keep in touch, I knew, especially after their moving to states on opposite sides of the country. There'd be no need for me to paint a picture of their pathetic mother sitting by the phone. If I wanted to hear their voices, I would make the calls. I wouldn't stare at the silent apparatus willing it to ring.
Naturally, if more days went by -- than a mother who provided her children with perfect childhoods should expect to hear from them -- I'd leave a message something like, "I know you're busy, but when you get time…"
Now, thanks to Facebook and Twitter, I don't have to resort to the phone or my passive-aggressive commentary. All I have to do is sign on to those two sites, hang out a bit and catch up on their whereabouts. So far, it seems to be working. But, I admit to a bit of worry. What if they have found another website, unbeknownst to me, where they reveal their more clandestine thoughts and behaviors. Hah! Give me some time, and this Jewish mother -- clever on the keyboard -- will soon be shadowing.
Posted by She's Not The Type at 7:32 AM