My mom ... my "friend"?

For Mother’s Day this year, I “friended” my mom on Facebook.*

In doing so, I’m trying to right a wrong a few months in the making when I told her, channeling my inner 16-year-old, that she was welcome to join the social networking site she’d been asking me about but if she did I wasn’t going to be her “friend.”

“Find your high school pals, have a blast, but there’s no reason for us to be ‘friends’ on Facebook,” I told her.

Who the hell do I think I am?

Looking back, there is no good reason for me wanting to hide my mother in the shadows of my social life. I mean, she reads and comments on my blog almost daily. I speak with her at least once a week on the phone. She and Dad visit regularly. We have a good relationship. So what was the problem? Was I worried about anything she’d see on my completely benign FB profile? No. Did I think she would take over my profile page, posting silly, sappy notes on my Wall? No. Was I afraid she was going to “friend” my friends? OK, maybe a little.

The bottom line is, I treated her like lots of kids treat their parents -- we cling to them when we need them but are quick to discount them or shove them aside on a whim.

A few weeks ago Kostyn went through a phase, just a couple days long, where he was rejecting me and Evan. I know he was just jealous of Evan monopolizing so much of my time. I know that he couldn’t understand his feelings of frustration and resentment, so it came out as aggression toward me. When I entered his room at naptime or to kiss him “good night,” he would start to scream and shake his head and point at the door, a toddler’s equivalent of a teenager’s “I hate you! Get out of my room!”

It broke my heart.

Luckily, it only lasted a couple days before he was back to his jovial, loving “Hi Mama!” self. But I know I’m in for many more of those days, maybe even months or years, when either or both of my boys will pull away from me for one reason or another. It will be hard then, as it was this last time, to understand. To step back and give them the space they’re demanding. To not take it personal. To know that they’ll come back around.

Because we kids need our moms, just as much as they need us.

So I will wait anxiously today for an e-mail from Facebook, confirming that my mom has accepted my "friend" request. Just like all those other times when I yelled at her, or ignored her, or pointed to the door when she approached ... only to tiptoe sheepishly, if not nonchalantly, back into her arms. I thank God those arms have always been open to me when I do.

I thank God for you, my mom, my friend. (No quotes needed.) Happy Mother's Day.

* Don’t worry, I’m also planning to get her a pedicure when she comes to visit in a couple weeks.


Anonymous said...

Such a nice Mother's Day read. It was also so nice to see your Mom's smiling face after so many years! Hope your Mother's Day was great!

Sheila's mom said...

Now haven't you just gone and opened up a can of worms!!!! By the way, I read your blog every day and love it.