The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A Mother's Instincts Prove Correct About A Cyber Maniac

At the salon where I've been having my hair cut and colored every two months for the past six years, the conversation among the women styling and being styled often turns to our children. As layers were being snipped into my newly highlighted hair recently, I asked my stylist, Sheri, how her daughter was enjoying her first year at UC Davis.

Sheri's sigh indicated things might not be going as well as they usually did for this gem of a girl who had graduated with honors from an all-girl Catholic high school a few months earlier.

Sheri explained that she had noticed on her phone bill a huge increase in the number of text messages her daughter was sending and receiving since going away to college, many of them sent in the middle of the night. When Sheri asked her about it, her daughter explained she had "met" a boy on the Internet and the two were enjoying a friendship via e-mail and text messages.

Sheri asked if she was able to do her schoolwork while up all night "chatting" and her daughter begged for her trust. Sheri did have faith in her daughter. She had earned it by being an honest girl and a conscientious student.

But something didn't seem right about the amount of time her daughter was spending on a boy she had never met. So Sheri asked more about him, and her daughter told her not to worry because a friend had promised that he was a good guy.

When the next phone bill confirmed the "relationship" was not only continuing, but intensifying, and her daughter's grades had begun to fall, Sheri confronted her again. If the boy's intentions were good there'd be nothing to fear if Sheri investigated a little. Sheri's daughter reluctantly agreed if only to show her mother that she was wrong.

But Sheri was right.

She learned the photograph the boy had sent of himself belonged to a star athlete at Penn State whose image was all over the Web and whose real name was not the one given to her daughter.

When Sheri called the numbers from which the boy had sent the text messages she reached a phone belonging to a girl who had renewed a friendship with her daughter through her My Space page – the same girl who had vouched for the boy.

Through Sheri's investigation her daughter learned that it was the girl who was on the other end of the messages, taunting her into believing she was involved in a real affair, a relationship that had become the focus of all her energies and emotions.

The girl, who was still in high school, had created this elaborate hoax to humiliate Sheri's daughter, though they never found out why. What Sheri did learn was that the girl had done this to six others, going so far as to arrange a date with one girl who flew across the country only to be "stood up" by the boy at an airport very far from her home.

Sheri's daughter was hurt and embarrassed, her mother explained with a sad sigh. But she had learned a lot about the dangers of the Internet and she was grateful the ruse had come to an end.

"What she's grateful for," I told Sheri, as other clients in the salon listened and nodded, "is that you are her mother and you trusted your instincts."

By Laura-Lynne Powell 

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