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Child of my heart

 
 
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 08:52 am
I have no children of my own, but had a big role in raising my goddaughter. I was there when she was born. We have always been close, and she has often joked that she had two moms. She remembers me on Mother's Day. But I am usually the one that makes the first call, sends the first email,etc. She is now almost 25, and is leaving for graduate school in August. I learned this on Facebook! I know she is busy, and that she needs to move on with her life. Right now, I'm kind of feeling I should have adopted one of those needy kids on the tv ads...at least they write the occasional letter to let you know what's going on, even if their country is in the middle of a civil war. I'm not asking for the moon here, buy I need a way to tell her that my feelings are hurt without making her feel crappy and guilty. What would you do.? Not that it's of paramount importance, but I have been helping her financially for many years.
 
View best answer, chosen by mags314772
sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 09:11 am
@mags314772,
I think that for that generation, that's part of the point of Facebook. You learned about it, right? Instead of having to contact important people individually, you friend the important people on Facebook and share important news with all of them at the same time.

I think you can just do a follow-up from that and go from there. (A message to her via Facebook congratulating her on her acceptance to grad school and then tacking on a general "hey how's it going?")
boomerang
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 09:14 am
@mags314772,
Aw, mags. That's rough. I can totally understand how hurt your feel.

I think it's generational so I wouldn't be too hard on her. As I understand it, many young people think Facebook is a perfectly valid way to share their news and they don't intend it to be a slight.

I think in 5 more years she'll realize the important role you've played in her life. People her age can be very self centered; I know I was. I didn't come to appreciate my mentors until I was in my 30s.

My advice is to continue to take the initiative as it's much harder to reconnect than it is to maintain a connection. That way you leave the door open for her.

And it isn't too late to adopt one of those needy kids you see on TV either.
mags314772
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 09:16 am
@sozobe,
I forgot to mention that I learned this on Facebook from her MOTHER, not from her. I congratulated her on her Facebook page and phoned her and left a message on her cell phone. No response to either contact.
sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 09:25 am
@mags314772,
Oh, that's a little different. Especially the "no response" part.

Did you send her a message via Facebook?

From what I've read and my interactions, for that generation it seems to typically go like this:

- text message: requires a response, preferably quickly
- phone call/phone message: did someone die? if not, then whatever.
- Facebook comment on someone's status: no response required
- Facebook post on someone's wall: should be a response but not really required
- Facebook message (private): response required, within a couple of days
- snail mail: are you kidding me?

I agree with what boomer says about that age and mentors, too.
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mags314772
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 09:30 am
@boomerang,
thanks, boomerang. The situation with this wonderful young woman has been such that I should write a book about it. Her mother was artificially inseminated. She bought a house two doors down from mine. She was a business executive and travelled constantly, often for a week at a time. When she was gone, I was mom. She named me to raise the child if anything happened to her. Whenever her mother came back from a trip and reclaimed her, my heart broke a little bit. Mom has always been torn between being jealous and being grateful. I was the fun mom, the one that lets you eat sweetened cereal and creates dress up trunks filled with vintage dresses,shoes,hats and jewelry.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 09:43 am
@mags314772,
There's an innate problem in that acting hurt, which I understand and think you are not offbase in feeling, is not what some busy young person wants to hear about and is something she might feeling like putting off dealing with, again and again. This is a young behavior, oft shared by elders too.

I'd probably start thinking about curtailing that financial support, but I don't think that's the answer either, as long as you are able to do it. I take it you don't live nearby? The best answer for this kind of stuff is actual talking in person (which you have tried to do, the talking anyway).

So, then what. I guess I'd be quiet for a while longer and see if she comes around.

I have a similar but different thing with my niece, the difference being that I'm clear she loves me and I know I love her. She's a luddite, almost fully anti computer, and only texts. She calls me once in a while, I miss the call, call her back, and poof, she doesn't get back. But I know her life and there's a lot of scattering in it. On my end, I live with low money and my cell phone arrangement doesn't include text (lowest possible service). Making calls on it is clumsy for me, but that's the phone I use when I call her... the problem there being that I don't know when is a good time, but I should call more often anyway. We're both the same on letting it go a bit. My regular comfortable phone has higher charges, which add up with a nice long conversation. So, time goes by. However, when I see her (it's been a year and a half now, she lives in California) or when we do finally talk, there is no difference, we are still go-to people to each other - which is its own quandary maker, as when we do connect, we want a long talk, thus the time finding.

I know an answer for me - I should write a nice long letter, print it, put it with a card, which she tends to save, and mail it, and then she'll call me when convenient.

Maybe that's an answer for you too, mags.
boomerang
  Selected Answer
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 09:47 am
@mags314772,
I can completely relate to what you're saying. I have very similar feelings about Mo's other mom. Long before Mo as born I was sort of her proxy-mom. I loved her (and I still do).

When Mo was born things got really complicated. The only bad thing I could ever say about us adopting Mo is that it cost me her.

I try to keep that door open but right now she wants it shut.

I can only hope that I'm prepared for the emotions I'm sure to feel when she decides it's time to open that door again and I know that it's for Mo and not for me. Sometimes you just have to put your own feelings aside, hard as it can be.

Kids of any age benefit from being loved by as many people who have it to offer. Even when they're 25 and are so wrapped up in their own life that they forget about all those people who love them.

Hang in there mags.
ossobuco
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 09:59 am
@boomerang,
What a great post, Boom, makes me tear, in a good way, re your understanding.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 09:59 am
@ossobuco,
Osso, do you know about TextFree?

http://www.pinger.com/textfree/

You can text your niece from the computer, for free.

We have the app for the iPod, sozlet texts various friends, we're happy with it.

It seems like everyone under 30 pretty much texts and only texts. Sozlet's friends are allergic to the phone, they only want to text.

*I* happen to think this is a fabulous development (yay text-based communication). But it's kind of weird.
ossobuco
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 10:01 am
@sozobe,
No, I sure didn't. I've never texted, what a dork. But, what happens when she texts me back, does it show up on my computer? (I haven't checked it out yet)
sozobe
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 10:02 am
@ossobuco,
Yep.

I have the iPod app so that's a little different -- a notification pops up. There must be an equivalent though.
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 10:13 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
IEven when they're 25 and are so wrapped up in their own life that they forget about all those people who love them.


thank you for the reminder

I've got a couple of virtual hugs to send out.
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chai2
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 10:40 am
@mags314772,
Things will change by the time she's 30 mags, trust me.

My step daughter is now 30 and a few months, and she was exactly the same way in her early to mid 20's.

I think that sometime after getting past that 25 marker, she had experiences with younger people, i.e. her twin half brother & sister who were in that extremely self centered teen thing, and them not informing her of important stuff on a timely basis.

Up until a year or 2 before that, she had I suppose the mind set of an undergraduate, where there was always someone to fall back on, even if you were late with birthday greetings etc.
Having those belated greetings, forgotten or late news events happen to her, was a wakeup call of "I'm REALLY an adult now, I'm being ignored by younger people"

Now, she's just finishing up her graduate degree, while working full time and doing it all on her own. This past father day, she was in Thailand with a group of other graduate students, something to do with school.

However, even though she was half a world away, her dad still got a call. I doubt that would have happened when she was 25.

Don't worry, and don't harp on it, or she'll get resentful, telling you things because she has to rather than wants to.

Rockhead
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 10:51 am
@mags314772,
sorry to hear this mags.

unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to encourage others to care for us but to continue to care about them.

hopefully some day she will realize how priceless family and friends can be.

hang in there...
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mags314772
 
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Reply Wed 29 Jun, 2011 04:51 pm
@chai2,
I have no doubt that she loves me deeply. She is not shy about saying so, and if I really need something, she is there for me. I know she is busy,busy right now. She is a manager at the restaurant where she works, and puts in lots of hours. I have not sent her a private message on Facebook. I may do that. Not a "poor ignored me" message. Just congratulatory. (By the way,Osso, she lives here in town.) She scored 800 in math on her GRE, and I know she's excited about graduate school.
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JPB
 
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Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 06:12 am
@mags314772,
mags314772 wrote:

I forgot to mention that I learned this on Facebook from her MOTHER, not from her. I congratulated her on her Facebook page and phoned her and left a message on her cell phone. No response to either contact.


Lots of good feedback already, but the one thing I've noticed with my 20-something daughter is that she doesn't even listen to voice messages. I've stopped leaving them. She'll see the missed call from my number and call me back eventually. She'll see three missed calls from my number and call me back right away.
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mags314772
 
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Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2011 08:30 am
Thanks, all of you, for the good advice. I did send her a brief private Facebook message, telling her I was very proud of her and casually saying that, if she has time, I would love to hear her voice. No matter what she does, I will always adore her for giving me the joys of motherhood, which I would not otherwise have had. She will continue to be the child of my heart.
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