The Friendships We Foster on Facebook

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friendships on facebookTo the moms I’ve re-friended from my childhood, thank you

We became friends long before Facebook existed. We met sometime in elementary school and naturally gravitated toward each other. We traded stickers, caught ladybugs, read the entire series of The Babysitters Club, and frowned when our moms arrived to pick us up from epic play dates or sleepovers.  

We drifted apart, not because we had a falling out, but because we parted ways in middle or high school. We tried to stay in touch via the old fashioned telephone, but there was just too much to explain each time we called each other. And so, we lost touch. Over the years, our moms would run into each other in the neighborhood and share our updates. They’d report back to us, and we’d smile, happy the other was still living a happy life. 

And then, sometime in our own adulthood, we found each other on Facebook.

It was a happy blast from the past. We couldn’t help but smile as we looked at each other’s profile pictures, still seeing pieces of our little girl selves in the now older faces. 

We’re both moms now. While we haven’t reunited, I want you to know that you hold a special place in my heart. When I watch my kids rush up to their little buddies, I remember our friendship. When I look at the pictures of you with your child, I can see a mother’s love with so much more clarity. It’s how our mothers looked at us, but we were just too young to know. 

To the moms I’ve re-friended from my adolescence, thank you. 

Describing our relationship is much trickier. We were friends in high school, but the degree of our bond fluctuated during those tumultuous teenage years. We always ran in the same wide circle of friends, but our closeness depended upon how many classes we shared and the latest drama. 

We drifted in and out of each other’s lives after graduation. I grew closer with some of you during college, mostly due to the proximity of our new schools, our overlapping vacations, and the technological breakthrough of AOL instant messenger and cell phones. It wasn’t surprising that the rest of us lost touch, for we had merely been friends by association. 

Throughout our early adulthood, we randomly reunited at bars or bumped into each other on Manhattan streets. Obviously, we sent a flurry of Facebook friend requests after such encounters. 

Becoming moms brought us closer together. We learned of each other’s pregnancies via Facebook.

Our kids were due within months of each other. We began texting each other frequently after our babies were born. We arranged play dates (or mommy dates). While we only see each other a couple of times a year, I am thankful for our text threads, which keep me calm and laughing as we trade our current drama regarding the mini-teenagers we’re raising. 

To the moms I’ve befriended over the past few years, thank you. 

I met you in various places, from hospital groups, to libraries, to FCM contributor events, to PTA meetings, to local sports practices. Our relationship is exclusively centered around our common identity as moms. We are still getting to know each other better, but I believe there is a kindred spirit between us.

We turn to each other on Facebook, no matter the time of day, and send a message to our shared group. We ask pertinent questions about school, recommend contractors, joke about something taboo, share cute stories about our kids, praise each other’s posts, organize meet-ups, wish the happiest of holidays and birthdays, etc. We respect each other as moms, momming the best we can. 

I thank you for helping me realize the power of new friends. I feel welcome in this large community of moms, and I’m reminded of the goodness in the world by how far our village extends. 

You’ve given me a sounding board, a platform to write, and the confidence to put myself out there.

I hope you all feel the same way about me.

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