I pass him again on my way upstairs to change my clothes. His fingers fly over the keyboard. I beat down my longing to ask “How was your day?,” knowing the interruption will only annoy him. I’m almost to the second story when he says, offhandedly, “By the way. I friended James.”
Unexpectedly, my battered heart soars: He does trust me! He does love me! He isn’t afraid to let me see into his soul! It’s a breakthrough, a giant step in our relationship —
And then I realize: Nah. That was just too easy. There’s no way my son would invite me into his life like that. All this means is that he’s moved on, just as he progressed from MySpace to Facebook. He’s found some other, more hidden place from which to post to the world — well, the world except for me. What Dicklenburg made Marcy do, he’s done for himself. I’m cut off, cast into darkness again.
The fact is, Google though I might, from here on in, all I can really know of my kids’ lives is what they’re willing to share with me. Whether they’d share more if I weren’t so obsessed with knowing is moot, in the end. We are what we are, what we’ve made each other, from APGAR scores through Gina Taylor’s prom dress. It would be harder to accept this if I couldn’t still taste my own teenage longing to break free from my parents, to leave them, clueless as they were, far behind as I forged into the future. I came home again, after a while, a little less cocky, not so anxious to prove I was smarter than they were.
All I have to do is wait … and hope those college admissions officers appreciate a really good pot joke.