What does it mean when your son says, "I love you mom, you are important to me. You should follow me on Twitter."? On the one hand, by reading his blog, subscribing to his videos and pictures on YouTube and Flickr and following his Tweets, I am privy to his passions and thoughts. I, along with the rest of the world, can know him more intimately than I know practically anyone. But he still won't return my calls or answer my e-mails. It's a one sided intimacy unless I also tweet and blog - and he takes the time to read them. Even THEN it's not what I would call a relationship. It's more of a narcissist's version of relationship. "I imagine that the whole world is more interested in me than I am in them". I can think of lots of psychobabble reasons why this is good. Self disclosure, "I" statements. But there isn't a real two-way conversation, just two separate streams of consciousness.
While I appreciate that my talented, overstressed son has little time in his day to day life to chat with me, I still miss our long, rambling conversations about nothing at all. Who am I kidding? I don't have time for those either.
It was a rare and precious luxury to have him here the past few days. We talked about the relative merits of the Tennant vs Brannaugh Hamlets, of Pyrimus and Dido and Cicero. We talked about the movie "The Tree of Life" (which he saw and I didn't because Sam was too loud in his appreciation of the dinosaurs.) We translated French songs, discussed European linguistics and demise of critical thinking. We played music, badly and he and his Dad (and Sam) tried to teach me syncopation. I showed him my garden and he showed me his new android tablet. These are discussions that take hours without children. Neither of us often have that. It was wonderful. We didn't spend much time talking about our problems. We didn't really need to. I feel closer to him than I have in years and it's like a piece of my heart has come home. He's gone back to Portland now, and I've got to get back to my real life. So I signed up for Twitter and I am following Ben, and, at his suggestion, George Takai, Wil Wheaton, Stephen Fry, and the Daily Show.
Blogs and Tweets are better than nothing. But rambling, pointless conversations are better than anything.