Friday, June 30, 2006

Global Parenting

I am going to Washington D.C. next week. Yeah, where it has been flooding. I am going with my husband and my daughter. We are going to meet my daughter’s girlfriend. Whom none of us have ever met, including my daughter. The world is a different place from when i grew up. Her closest friends are all over the country. And from all over the world.

When i grew up, we only knew people who we knew, people we had met in person i mean. But she is a child of the internet. Her closest friends are people she “knows” from the internet. The quotes are mine, because i don’t understand knowing people that i haven’t met. But she does. I am beginning to get it though. I feel like i am flying blind a bit as far as being a parent.

We have probably met, in person, 4 or 5 kids that she knows from the internet now. Some we have traveled to meet, and some have come visiting here. And all the parents approach it in different ways. I do not let her meet these people for the first time without me there. I am there and very large. But I will say that the people, kids and parents alike, have all been interesting and fun people.

The first one was when she was 13, and was meeting a boy that she had been friends with for a few years. (They all met at NeoPets. How cute is that?) He and his family flew in from Chicago and we met in the middle of a local mall. My husband and i were both there. MD (my daughter) was nervous and so was i. But he turned out to a perfectly pleasant, smart, geeky kid. His mom and her boyfriend seemed nice, but 5 minutes later they turned to us and said “So, when should we come back and pick him up?” I would never have left her there alone, but i guess it’s different for a 15 yo boy.

We flew to Chicago once to visit them too. Chicago was great. i’ll need to go back again someday. After a while they became boyfriend-girlfriend. That’s when i really appreciated that he lived in Chicago and not nearby. Then he broke up with her after 6 months. Ah, the drama.

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