Parents Proudly Baffled By the Wonder Of Their College Kids Online

You Virtually Had to Be There

By Michelle Slatalla

Published: October 11, 2007
EVER since she went off to college I’ve come to think of my daughter as Virtual Zoe. In many ways, there’s not that much difference between my glimpses of her now and the brief physical sightings in the years after she earned her driver’s license. But these days, I never know where she will turn up. It could be in the form of an e-mail message — “Check out this sweet car I saw for sale on Craigslist” — or when I’m trying to work and an instant message pops up: Oh, come on, it’s sooooo cheappppp (for a car). Or she might
write a blog post about her most recent purchase, a long-handled “claw” that extends her arm reach by nearly three feet so she can grab her phone without getting off her bed or (if later than noon) the
common-room couch.

She still exhibits the same sense of humor, the same late-night hours and presumably the same baggy gray sweat pants.

Or does she? It’s the last part — wondering about what I can’t see — that has been the hardest for me since she went away. I try to ignore the longing, but sometimes it sneaks up when I’m doing the most ordinary thing like folding laundry. I begin to wonder: Is that all I get? I put 18 years of hard work into this person, and now she disappears?

As her mother, I needed to lay eyes on her. It was still a long time until Thanksgiving break. Last week I asked her in an e-mail message, “Can we video chat tonight?”

It was a big step, because I’ve always thought of video chats as something enjoyed mainly
by connoisseurs of pornography
and my husband (not to my knowledge a connoisseur of pornography). More than a decade ago, he brought home a program called CU-SeeMe, and we crowded around his Powerbook as if it were the first color television in town, transmitting herky-jerky images.

(…continue reading! It’s a great piece from a parent to modern-teen perspective! Loads of “look what kids can do” gems about the web & connecting families & independence & viral-support… click below for rest of article)

You Virtually Had to Be There – New York Times

I loved this. Chalk full fo sweet sentiments and interesting perspectives as the adult/parent’s world grows based on need & info from their college bound child.

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