Back to School and Stalking Facebook

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Lisa Nichols

What happens when you already know the answer to, "how was your day?"

Happy back-to-school, fellow parents! Were your kids up bright and early, dressed in seconds, brimming with excitement for their first day?

I remember that day like it was yesterday, because it was yesterday. Mine have moved on to the novelty-barren second day of school, which means back to dragging them out of bed as if their bodies turned to cement overnight. 

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But my kids had great first days. Around noon yesterday, I saw a Facebook post on the page maintained by my older daughter's teachers. She and her tablemates had won a group challenge within the class, and there she was in her carefully selected back-to-school outfit, beaming out from my iPhone. It was nice to feel that moment of connection with her - to know what and how she was doing, in real time, when I couldn't be with her.

She ran to me when I got home. "So guess what? We did this challenge in our class...," she began.

I almost said, "I know!"

I stopped myself at the last second, sputtering something like, "Ahhhhhohhh, yeah?"

Because it was her story to tell, and she did, complete with hand gestures and diagrams. She was so excited, so intent on recreating the scene for me. It was the best part of my day.

But I almost took it away from her. I think about this often in our digital world where the boundaries of privacy always seem to be shifting. It was easy when the girls were babies; their stories were my stories because they couldn't speak for themselves. But now, I have to think carefully about who owns their stories. Babies grow into people, and eventually, I have to let mine use their own voice. 

So I'm going to keep faking it. I'm going to let them tell me about their day, regardless of what I might already know about it. Or how many times I "Like" a post. Or share it. Or how many comments I leave thanking the teachers profusely for photos of my amazing child. They probably think I'm at home in my bathroom refreshing my browser every thirty seconds to make sure I don't miss anything.

I'm not, yet. Then again, it's only day two.


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