Last week, I read an article dissing parents who only write and/or post positive things about their children on their blogs and other social media sites, like Facebook. Then I looked at my Facebook homepage and noticed, I too am one of those parents.
Yet, my immediate justification was that the negative stuff is understood… we all know children test people as they spread their wings on their way to becoming adults and whether you’re a parent or not we were all children, at some point, and we know full well about pushing boundaries and testing people, especially our parents.
Furthermore, my daughter, Delicious D, is pre-pubescent and going into middle school, this week. Need I say more, and on Facebook?
While driving home from a play-date, just a few days ago, “My brain needs to think differently. I miss school,” Delicious D said very matter of factly while sitting in the front seat of my car, sitting in the front seat. She is definitely growing up.
The little girl who only wore tennis shoes and t-shirts to school asked me to buy her blouses and combat boots, “Mom you don’t have to worry about me ruining my shoes because middle school kids don’t play on the playground like we did in elementary school. Oh and can I get a manicure before school starts?”
Most people will tell you Delicious D is a confident child, although her teachers will tell you she lacks a bit of confidence academically (there are reasons for this but that’s an entirely different article). Both assessments are true but overall I am fortunate – actually she is fortunate – that anxiety doesn’t play a huge role in her life.
As we walked the grounds of Delicious D’s middle school during orientation, she beamed with pride and excitement. Looking at the room numbers on her schedule and then up to the buildings, as she led me and her dad around to show us where her classrooms are, stopping only to let us know that people keep asking her if she is scared about going from class to class for each subject. “Scared? You know what’s so funny, most of my friends are worried about moving around from class to class but I can’t wait. Do you know how hard it was for me to sit in one classroom for hours and hours, this is going to be the best thing, ever!”
We made our way over to her locker, luckily a top locker. While she couldn’t wait to open it, mastering the lock did not come with the same joy and there we stood amidst the sea of other incoming 6th graders and their parents, my pre-pubescent daughter and I butting heads. Nope, it didn’t matter that we weren’t the only ones.
“Mom, I know how to do it! It’s not working! I’m doing everything right! It just doesn’t work, it’s broken!”
“Delicious D, you’re not listening to me and Dad and you’re getting frustrated because you’re impatient!”
“So are you!” she exclaims with her cocked head and her hand on her hip. If that ain’t the kettle calling the pot black…
She was absolutely right, but that wasn’t the point. Luckily for us both I had to rush off to work. I begrudgingly kissed her cheek, said goodbye and left Delicious D speechless leaving her and her Dad to deal with the locker (can’t remember the last time I did that, or ever, actually.)
Admittedly, it felt great to walk away. It felt even better not to engage in an argument or rather a challenge of our wills.
A few hours later I received a text, “I’m sorry for the way I treated you at school and you were right. It took me a little while longer but I am a master locker opener!”
While I enjoy sharing parts of my life about my daughter on social media sites, I don’t find it necessary to state the obvious and the ugly.
I love that social media has given me the platform to share photos of her accomplishments, images from our adventures, an impulsive thought I might have as I sit in the office and/or in traffic (sometimes feeling isolated), asking for recommendations for various services. And I especially love that I can share parts of my life with friends and family who don’t live close by as Delicious D and I traverse single parenthood together, for now, just the two us.