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In Praise of Friendship on "MyFace"

As a response to Mike Tharp's column today...

I'm an old fashioned mom who likes modern conveniences.

Take for instance, Zip-lock bags:

I can freeze in them, store in them, and collect sea shells and pine cones in them...

They're convenient, and they're washable.

Yes, I wash my plastic bags.

As a self-employed, stay-at-home, home school mom, we practice recycling, not to save the planet, but to save our pennies.

Yet, more than that, I value the training and nurturing of my kids,  over pursuing a career. There will be time for that later. Right now my family and my home are the priority.

And actually, these technological wonders called cell phones, laptops and Facebook have all found a way into our lives, even in our old fashioned, country home... Because these are the things that help us stay connected. When they aren't used as the sole means of communication, that is.

This week I got a message from an old friend, saying that she'd like to re-connect with me. We went to high school together. She got married shortly after graduation, and I was married the following June—in her wedding dress—my “something borrowed.” Our husbands had motorcycles, so we'd go riding together through the Arizona deserts.

Then, we moved, and lost touch. That was close to 30 years ago. But this week she found me on FB.

I sent my BFF in Santa Fe a message on FB the other night. She called me yesterday so we could catch up, and we talked for about an hour (while I walked on the treadmill).

Two friends each had their first grand-babies born this week, and posted photos on FB. What a thrill!

My sister and I have become a lot closer since being on FB. She was born when I was almost seven, so we weren't real close growing up. Marriage and kids gave us something in common. Now we chat on our computers. “How's Mom? Did Mike get a new job yet? How are things with you at work? Are the kids making friends at their new schools?” Things like that... Whereas we were too busy to pick up the phone, or perhaps, because she's on the phone a lot during the day, or whatever, we just didn't call much. But, with us both sitting at our pc's during the day, it's so easy to get on FB and find out what's going on in each others' lives.

Our son just finished his second week of OCS with the USMC—only seven weeks to go. I said something in my status about how he's doing, and that if anyone wants his address, to let me know. My sis responded with, “Of course, I want his address, Goofball!” We're able to talk to each other using the keyboard, just like we would in person. I gave her a hard time for calling me “Goofball,” and then I sent her his address. (With all his modern sources of communication restricted, old fashioned letters are a bright spot in his current existence.)

Besides that, all his worldly belongings—except for one change of civilian clothes—are being kept here. Including his wireless laptop, which he gave us permission to use. Yes!

So, now, when I'm sitting at my pc in the back of the house, my girl sits with her brother's laptop in the front part of the house (after her school work, chores and piano practice is done, of course). If she sees me on FB, I always get a note from her, telling me what she's doing or asking a question.

Why doesn't she just get up and walk the ten yards or so to talk to me? Because she's a teen, and it's more convenient—and fun, even—to communicate this way. She's a writer, too, and she sends me these cute smiley faces. She takes the quizzes by answering questions; she told me what some of the questions are, and asked how she should answer one.

Do you have to answer it?”

No. I skipped it.”

Smart girl.”

Yeah, some of the questions are dumb, so I just skip them.”

Good. You need to be honest when Dad and I ask you questions. But with strangers, it's better not to bare your soul. You can be evasive, like Danielle in Everafter... 'I'm visiting my cousin... Which one?... The only one I have.'”

We're careful about who her friends are and what games she can play. Someone invited her to play CafeWorld, so now she's cooking on FB. Last night while we made zucchini muffins, she told me about the dishes she's preparing in her FB cafe. Another time this week I chatted with one of her friends while my daughter sat beside me. We held a three-way conversation.

And last night we piled the pillows on my bed and watched the Hannah Montana movie on the laptop, in 11 parts on YouTube, nestled there together with the puppy sleeping between us. Eventually, my sweet teen's head was leaning on my shoulder. It was a memory-making event.

But really, the whole day was full of memories that will keep us bonded for a lifetime.

Thanks to a laptop and FB.