wanted: experienced parent

parenting is a job. no, i’m serious, a J-O-B. it’s no wonder that it’s not listed in the local paper or employment website. the “job description” would frighten even the most confident applicant and cause the weak to piddle themselves where they stand. who, in their right mind, would volunteer for round the clock body fluid cleanup? or unlicensed, never paid, nurse/therapist/doctor/best friend? perhaps that is where the magic lies. in the fact that we only have an inkling of what it takes to be a parent and the true test and real reward come with the learning. so we do the deed, sew the seed and parents we become. or so we hope.

it’s 5am where i reside and i’ve slept only a percentage of what a normal person should. most days (as of late) i would have slept all of those lovely “doctor recommended” hours and would be on the verge of waking to start my day. but, my son currently has bronchitis. he’s coughing, sneezing, wheezing, barfing, whining, writhing, sleeping intermittently and highly feverish. did i mention he’s barfing, vomiting, and throwing up?

in the last twenty-four hours he’s returned everything that he’s eaten, missed school, been to the doctor, and slept like an infant. he’s coughing like a thirty year smoker and just exhausted. at six years old, his tiny man frame cannot handle the force of continually coughing, wheezing and sneezing…so, he’s just pooped out. and without food in his system he is unable to retain his harsh medications so we are in a “break the fever” and “try to get antibiotics into him” limbo. it stinks.

at almost thirty weeks pregnant, carrying thirty extra pounds, i too am pooped. for the last two months we’ve religiously gone to bed about nine and i lazily get up after five to start our day. i think i slept from one to two, and then again from three to four. all the while reaching for him to check for fever. a little after four, SuperBoy woke me requesting water. and soon after “some food”. (hallelujah!)

after giving him some water and having a short discussion on what causes an itchy throat and a noisy tummy we settle on a snack of white rice (in an attempt to keep the body fluid cleaning persona of parenting at bay). after slowly gathering my faculties and balance (a thirty pound belly fulla twin babies makes a gal a little clumsy), i retrieved the rice, more water, the antibiotics, ibuprofen and a napkin. once he was all set, he asked me if he could watch tv. on any given day of the week, he would not be awake at this time, but he’s slept more than he’s done anything else and i know he’s feeling better, and hungry. both are good things and I cannot protest. he looks at me sweetly, with dark circles around his eyes, a grain of rice stuck to his lip and while donning the cutest smile he says “you can lay down, i’ll turn the tv down, i know you’re tired” and he grins again. instantly i became verklempt.

verklmept

SNL verklempt

that. that right there is what it’s all about. that is what makes every other moment worthwhile. the fluid cleaning, pseudo-chef and unpaid unlicensed respiratory therapist that reside within me cheered and high-fived because even the mind of a sweet but sick little boy can recognize my efforts. if you’d explained on the parenting job description that my payment would come in the form of foggy-eyed smiles and the tired but genuine hugs of a tiny man, i’d tell you to take your job and shove it. but in this moment, i couldn’t have asked for a more satisfying payment.

you’re not a parent because you’ve submitted DNA or given your name. pushing a stroller, holding a baby or changing a diaper does not a parent make. parenting comes with the sacrifice. in fact, it is synonymous with sacrifice. parenting is the relentlessness that it takes from an adult to make a child happy and healthy. a parent isn’t born because a child is born. a parent is born when an adult puts a child before themselves. when the adult, after having no sleep, not brushing their teeth, showering, or changing their clothes can drag themselves out of the house with a worse-than-bedhead look and get more juice. a parent is born when you forget about yourself and focus only on the child. sadly, parenting and child bearing don’t actually have anything to do with each other — even though they are directly related (thehellyousay?).

some parents are better than others. some parents have more than others. some people had great parents and role models and became awesome parents and role models. some awesome parents are born from horrible people that shouldn’t be allowed to monitor houseplants, but they change their everything for their little ones. some people are well studied and some seem lucky. some people beg for parenthood and never get the chance. some people don’t want it but are blessed with it, repeatedly. It doesn’t matter how you became a parent. what matters is that you take the job seriously. children are persistent in all things. all things. and they need their parents, guardians, monitors, and providers to be just as persistent — and then some. parenting is for the wholehearted. it’s for the givers, the doers, the encouragers, and good listeners. parenting is not for the weak. it’s for the open minded, willing to learn, compassionate, young-at-heart who don’t have time to think about themselves, because their only aspiration in life is to nurture their child.

the rewards of parenting are not instantaneous or consistent. they are not guaranteed or even measurable. the rewards of parenting can only be felt in your heart — when your baby shows you how your hard work has been absorbed and appreciated. the biggest reward comes from watching your little one become a happy successful person and the look they give you to tell you they couldn’t have done it without you. the reward for parenting doesn’t come from the community, the classroom or the PTA. it can’t be handed to you, gifted to you, ordered or purchased. the real reward comes from your child, the child you care for, provide for, mentor or foster. it’s immeasurable but invaluable. more often than not, you won’t see it coming and that too is it’s beauty. the love, the respect, the appreciation for what you’ve done for that child will knock you flat on your ass, and it is in THAT moment that a parent is born.

let me plainly state, as well, that successful parenting is relative and situational. we don’t all have the same background, aspirations, resources, goals or passions. it is up to YOU (and to ME) to feel and appreciate the success we achieve as parents. we cannot look to another to validate this and we cannot succumb to the criticisms of others. only you know your struggle. only your kids know your parental love. that is a dynamic exclusive to you and yours and no one can take that from you.

i’d also like to point out that we are all human. we are not divine, perfect or flawless. we can and we will make mistakes. learning from them is all that we can do. mistakes in parenting are as constant and consistent as the doubt, love, frustration and satisfaction. it must all be taken in stride. after all, parenting is a lifelong career choice. it is not for a limited time or even for “eighteen years”. loving and caring for your child will extend beyond your imagination. from the first audible flutter of their tiny heartbeat to the day that you draw your last breath — your child, your children, your babies will be evermore the focus of your life. their happiness, pain, fun, love, dreams and desires become your own and you will exhaust yourself time and again doing whatever you can, as hard as you can, for as long as you can to guide, advise and help them. they are parts of you that live independently outside of you and you will forever-ever-ever be in awe of them.

children change you. they change your life, your views, your plans, your thoughts, feelings, and time schedule. they take over your heart and your mind and you go from being your own person to being theirs. you are their everything…but not half as much as they are yours. there won’t be a millisecond in time that you are not consumed with them from every angle, and it is in those moments — when you find the reward: the indescribable and overwhelming sense of love and pride in knowing that you “made that”!

as always, i can only tell you my experiences and share my thoughts. i welcome yours. i sought help with this post through my Facebook world and my friend JBRN shared the written advertisement below. he advised that this was not his own creation but one that he treasured and my prompt allowed him a timely opportunity for sharing. it’s quite ideal. please enjoy. don’t forget to comment, like and share! 🙂

  • POSITION: Mom, Mama, Mother (we know it’s not just moms though)
  • JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
  • RESPONSIBILITIES: For the rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
    Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
    POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

    • Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
    • Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
    • Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
    • Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
    • Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
    • Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
    • Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
  • PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
  • WAGES AND COMPENSATION: You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
  • BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for
    life if you play your cards right.

p.s. call your mother and say something nice.

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thirty days of thanks

the figurative essence of a man (an excerpt that was also posted, but  has since been removed to eliminate the repetition) is an interesting rambling on of my favorite aspects of man.  Not just man, but men.  Men in general and men in specific.  It would like to be something more complicated than a list of my favorite attributes of men. However, it turns out that “the essence” was merely the appetizer portion of my blogging debut.  The meal itself, would follow in a whirlwind of hopes, dreams, realizations, ideas, inspirations, dedications and memories.  I would be lying if I took any credit for this idea or its pure soul-searching motivation.  In the interest of giving credit where credit is due, I want to highlight my facebook friend, Paula F, for the encouragement to give thanks out loud.  She encouraged her whole world to share their thanks with her each day for the month of November. To truly celebrate Thanksgiving.  I enjoyed the initial thought so much that I may have, literally, raised my hand as if to scream “Teacher! Teacher! Pick meeeee!”

even though I was very excited and anxious to participate, I took a little time to consider the dedication that I wanted to promote with my posts.  I knew I would start light and eventually end up heavy handed, but such is the way.  Once I started, I was already on a roll.  With a meager, yet humble and encouraging audience I started my day thinking about my thanks.  Actually taking time to form the thought, and draft the prose in my mind before publishing any flighty nonsense.   Of course, I want to have fun, encourage fun and always bring a smile to my readers, but I found myself searching, better yet, requiring, that my posts be clear minded, well formed thoughts and some sort of “method to the madness”.

It turns out that being grateful and expressing thanks is not as easy as it sounds.  In fact, it doesn’t sound easy.  Not to me, anyway.  I feel that the best way to express any thought requires the use of vocabulary.  And one cannot properly use vocabulary without a clear cut understanding of the word(s).  You have to comprehend before you can use them to communicate.  With that said, being thankful is simply that: expressive of thanks; effectively conveying meaning or feeling.  Effectively conveying meaning or feeling?  Wow, this is serious business.

lemme catch up. day 1: i’m thankful i have life. that i made it into this world and was given a chance. day 2: i’m thankful for my body. while i am aging, it APPEARS to be gracefully. LOL.

day 3: today, i am thankful for the will to do what is necessary and the ability to follow through.

day 4: today i am grateful for grade AA butter and warm Belgian waffles. MMMMM!! just kidding, today i am grateful for the desire to be helpful, even in the face of certain disappointment and adversity. perseverance! i can’t hide my shine! 😉

day 5: today i am thankful 4 men. MANLY MEN! (4 me, 1 man in particular), but men who care for themselves. well groomed and handsome men. freshly shaven men with new haircuts. men who smell good and who’s smile melts your heart. men who care enough about any and everything 2 care out loud. men who remind u that u’re a woman. men who make u smile when u don’t know it and give u butterflies when they look at u. men.

Jennifer Perez Awww….I want a manly man…=)!!!! Enjoy yours:)

Nicole Reese oooo I second that, you made me thankful!

Tanisha Ware installment 2: men with strong arms and broad shoulders. a man you can hide behind because of his strength and size! men who hold you up and never let you down. arms that hug you, hold you, love you and bring you flowers. a man that adores you. a man that cares for you. men. mmmph!

Camille Fairman Williams OMG, you worded this so accurately and beautifully. Can i steal this for my wall?? I’m in absolute agreeance.

Tanisha Ware take it honey! have it! it’s all yours! i’m just saying out loud what we all feel. and even if your man, the man, her man, his man, any man isn’t the “size” or exact “make and model” as i have described, you missed the point. as long you feel good when you’re with him and great when you miss him, you found him.

Camille Fairman Williams uh oh if that’s the criteria… i think i may have caught me one of those…YAY!!

Julie Stropka Word! Mine is not always clean shaven but he smells yummy and he does all the rest!! ♥

Tanisha Ware bahhha! @Julie Stropka, you said “word”… wooooooooooord!!

Tanisha Ware installment 3: a MAAAN! a man that makes you bite your lip in anticipation. a man who asks what you want and listens to the answer. a man who waits patiently for your response to a question he already knows the answer to. a man who is truly disappointed if he is forced to disappoint you. a man who will always make it up to you. a man.

Julie Stropka Don’t you just love it! 😉

Tanisha Ware mmm hmm! i do. like a fat kid loves cake!

Camille Fairman Williams alright… where are you getting this from?? are you picking my brain when i sleep? Gathering all the hopes and dreams of my wanted man? LOL

Tanisha Ware it’s just what was in my head when i woke up with this morning. 😉

Camille Fairman Williams and the funny thing is, is that what you’re saying and what most women want isn’t far reaching or far fetched in the least. very attainable, i know those guys are out there (fingers crossed) ♥

Tanisha Ware they are. but they wear figurative camouflage and are hard to see… knights in shining armor disguised as runners in nikes.

Julie Stropka and they find you when you aren’t looking…I promise! I met my hubby at Best Buy! 🙂 He is a good man who takes good care of our family..♥ Trust they are out there, and I hope you find yours 🙂

Tanisha Ware installment 4: a man, dammit! a maaaaan! not a boy who thinks he’s a man, not a boy who has to tell you he’s a man. a man you can see from a distance. a man that exudes man. a man who loves himself and those who love him in return. a responsible man that can handle business!! ALL business. a man. dammit! a man.

Julie Stropka You should be a blogger..seriously this is good stuff chica..

Tina Edwards ok, yer killin’ me. yes yes, manly men are good, don’t want to think about you and whoever too deeply, so cut it out. I mean, honestly, would you wan’t me to go into any kinda detail about how I feel about Jase? Really?

Tanisha Ware installment 6: a man of quality, integrity, dignity and dare i say; grace. a man who can walk, talk, move, stumble, fall and always make it look like something you want to be involved in. a man who will always have your back, be at your side and live forever in your heart. a man you love to watch and who watches you. A MAN!

Tina Edwards I’m gonna start listing Jason’s tattoos… I mean it!

Tanisha Ware Tattoos don’t scare me! You should know that. I’m plotting and planning No. 5.

a thankful day 6: as my dear sweet granny used to say “if it wasn’t for the bitter, how would you know what was sweet”?

day 7’s thanks… today i am thankful for being resourceful. for seeing the forest and the trees. for seeing the snake, letting it bite me and treating the wound accordingly.

2day i am thankful 4 my mama! it’s her bday. so HAPPY BIRTHDAY Michele Tazzi ! there’s no 1 in the world like my (or ur, if u wanna be picky) mama! i wish i had me somma her cookin’! wish we closer in proximity & able 2 njoy a night of kamikaze shots (down 2 our last dime) like we did so many years ago! 😉 oops! was that ‘posed 2 b a secret? I ♥ u mama!

Michele Tazzi Shhh.don’t tell all our secrets..lol but Kamikaze shots are just wonderful.I Luvs my Biggie ones both and wish u were here too so I could cook for you and make bread so I could watch you tear the loaf up getting a chunk…lol Luv Ya Baby

Tanisha Ware I love you too, ma! Happy father’s day and happy easter to you!!

day 9: today i am thankful for my aunt. she’s going away on an medical missionary excursion. she’ll be far away, physically, but not far from my heart. she takes better care of me and my son than i do. i wish her safe travels, rest and food when she needs it, but most of all, I WISH FUN FOR HER! i hope she has a great …time. i think we’re both homesick already. have fun DD! we’ll miss you! XOXOO

day 10 of thanks: today i am grateful for the opportunity to start anew. sometimes life just sinks. but everyday that we are blessed to wake up, we have the chance to make a change and bring us that much closer to what we really want. the hard part is separating the “what we want” from “what we deserve” or the “what we… need”. wants will never outweigh needs. fill your needs and your wants will be met.

Deb Avila Davis what a inspiration T 🙂 thanku for sharing u got a beautiful soul friend!

Tanisha Ware ‎*blush*

Deb Avila Davis lol 🙂

Nicole Hannibal awwww well said!

Tanisha Ware who let me post “sinks” and not “STINKS”? lol

Deb Avila Davis me lol i knew what you meant lol

day 11 of thanks. november 11th. a bittersweet day for me. i am grateful to all that have served, continue to serve and will serve. but for me, today is the date of my dear sweet granny’s birth… and sadly, her death. she died 4 years ago, today, on her 82nd birthday. lord love a duck if i don’t miss my sweet gertrude…. bless the lord and the heavens above for sending me such an angel. x

Tanisha Ware she loved me sumthin’ FIERCE, and i loved her back! i only hope that i can be the kind of mother, sister, aunt, and hopefully grandmother that she was. she was the most phenomenal person i have ever known.

Tanisha Ware with that said, i GIVE THANKS this day for my grandmother, Arlena G. Ware, for without her, i would not be me. she gave me her heart. everyday. thank you gertrude!! i love you! i miss you terribly!

Kim McNamara Revelles Wow you just touched my heart! Well said my friend. Your grandma was a special woman! I remember her, she was such a sweet lady. I believe you will be just like her and even better! Love ya girl, hope you have a great day! ♥♥♥

Tanisha Ware agreed! if you knew her, then you felt her, if you didn’t know her, you would have wished you did. thanks kim! xoxoo

Lana Ross wow sorry

Sharly Eckley She must have been special if God gave her and took her on the same day. You were blessed to have her as long as you did. I miss my grandma, too. Grandmas are so great!

Tanisha Ware i agree sharly! i whispered that to her, that day… “gramma! you gotta me some-kinda-wonderful to be born into and removed from the world on the same date!” amazing right? and i agree, grammas are great!

thanks on the twelfth: today i am thankful to be “healthy”. to be whole, have and use all five senses and not in need of any medication on a daily basis. i am thankful that i haven’t ever required a cast, crutches, a brace of any nature, surgery, replacements or upgrades. i am here, now, just as i came. i’m taller, heavier and more talkative. but i am free of pesticides and preservatives. 😉

thirteenth thought of thanks: perhaps the END of the day is the best time of day to confess one’s appreciation for the day. *shrug* today, i am thankful for friendship. for true friendship, lifelong friendship, facebook friendship, family friendship, acquaintance friendship. the general ability to connect with others.

day 14: today i am thankful for kisses. in love kisses, not aunt margaret kisses. sweet “end of the day” gentle pouty lipped kisses. kisses that linger… on the lips and the mind. the kind of kiss that makes you stare off into space and grin unknowingly.

days 15 and 16: yesterday i found myself unable to place thanks on any one thing. i thought about it for most of the day. i figured if i went back to posting in the morning it would help, but still, nothing came to mind. i listened to a lot of music. specifically “pretty wings” by Maxwell. even as i drifted off to sleep, he serenaded me and when i awoke his words and downright passion resonated in the air around me.

i want to take time to thank anyone that follows their musical calling. music is so very powerful. i am grateful for any song that has made it to my ear, past my heart and straight into my soul. music brings everyone together. it speaks for the lost, the quiet, the meek, the unloved. it reaches into your memory and brings out memories, people, smells, places, other songs. it’s amazing.

so for my thanks, i would like to be thankful for Maxwell. and i would like to thank any musical artist and every musical artist for bringing the funk!

day 17: today’s thanks include nubi hawaiian delight frozen yogurt with mochi, clean white fluffy fuzzy robes straight out of the dryer, “tisses” from my son, lunch and errands with the gal pals from work, texts from just about anybody (bahah!) and the very rare pat on the back from the boss.

day 18: today i am thankful for curiosity. for that nagging feeling that makes me look under the foil on a week old refrigerator experiment. the desire to see what’s in, what’s next to, what’s behind, what’s near, what’s under, what’s covered by anything else. the need to know the answer, even if i don’t want to know the answer.

the want of all the information, not the selective judgment free aspects that i am provided. the facts, the goods, the truth and the light. the real and never the fake. the substance! i am a seeker of the why.

day 19: today i am thankful for the unexpected. the things that keep me on my toes. keep me, at least attempting to be, one step ahead. the things that knock the wind out of me when i’m already in full motion. the things that make me rearrange my plans or throw them out the window altogether. the things that make life GRAND.

23 days of thanks: although i have been a total slacker since thursday, i am here to give my thanks. for the 19th: i am thankful for payday. what a way to start the weekend. for the 20th: i am thankful for my bestest friend Shannon Adcock and her two beautiful children. they came to visit with us and we had a tornado o…f fun. for the 21st: i am thankful for sleeping in late with SuperBoy.

installment 2: (a continuation of the 21st) children are always angels when they are sleeping and mine is no acception. he’s just so darned cute.

installment 3: for the 22nd: i am more than grateful for the lingering of love. the impish smiles, the slight swelling of pouty just kissed lips, the swooning in delight. the feeling that you love, have been loved, have made love and all is what it should be. i am grateful and thankful that someone’s heart is open to me and they are willing to let me in, to hold their heart and care for them. thankful they will do it in return. thankful.

installment 4: for today, the 23rd of November, i am thankful for the kindness and understanding of others. i am not the easiest person to get along with (no commentary allowed). but there are quite a few SPECTACULAR people in this world, who not only tolerate me, but actually like me (some of um love me! i know! can you imagine?), and that means the world to me. i do what i can to be a good person, a good woman and a good friend. i’m not always right, and i hate to admit that (sometimes), but i always have the best intentions. i love my life. i love my family and i love my friends. thanks for listening.

today, today i am thankful for my family. i am a holiday scrooge!! but i have too many good memories of thanksgiving to let them die. we ’bout to get this kitchen fired up!! if we’re fb friends it’s because i knew you, know you, love you, work with you or care about you in some way, so that makes you special to me. have an awesome day with your family! make some memories!!! XOXOO

Tanisha Ware says “Don’t sit over there thinkin’ you can escape my last 5 days of thanks for the month of November. I ain’t done yet! You just wait.

while shaking my head in shame, i must admit that i did not make it back to express my thanks, not  for those last five days of november.  and i haven’t expressed anything more than random thoughts during december.  however! for every moment leading up to thanksgiving day, i was focused and sincerely grateful.  i lost a lot of my holiday spirit just growing into an adult.  and whatever little light still shined was completely burned out when my granny passed away.  but i’m a parent, i am someone’s mother.  not just someone, but Kenneth.  i am Kenneth Michael T’s mother.  i owe it to him to provide a warm and safe environment in which to grow and learn.  i also owe him fond FAMILY memories full of traditions and fabulous food.  and it took aaalllllll the way up to noon on Thanksgiving day for me to actually pull it all together and get off my ass and say “let’s do the damned thang”!

and i did exactly that.  my son spent the holiday with his father and that side of the family.  i talked with my aunt and co-chef around noon.  we planned out a menu and headed to the grocery store.  ludicrous, right?  but we did it anyway.  we spent an insane amount of money for a full turkey dinner with only two guests.  she and me.  we filed the groceries away accordingly and started our mission.  we turned on the music, had some laughs and got the party started.  a full turkey dinner planned and executed by the ladies of Ware.  the menu included turkey, sage cornbread dressing, greens, brown sugared yams, sweet potato and lemon ice box pies.  oh, and kool aid.  it was de-lish!  almost dead on.  my sage cornbread dressing was so close to my sweet granny’s that it actually brought a tear to my eye.

but i was thankful.  for all of it.  for every last bit of it.  i don’t think that i would have been as inspired or as thankful without my new found attitude.  is it an attitude?  a perspective?  a “way of life”?  i’d like to think so.  i’d like to think that each day i have awakened renewed and refreshed but most importantly appreciative.  happy to alive, to be loved and be living my life!  indebted to the lord, the moon and the stars for blessing me with my son.

there is something to be said for living up to a challenge.   there is more to be said for accepting the challenge and persevering!  i’d like to think that i not only accepted and lived up to the “thankful” challenge, but that i grew from it.  that i am a better person for it.  i am trying to see things differently each day.  not always succeeding, but trying to see the brighter side of life.  the silver lining.  learning to embrace what has come to pass and prepare for what is on the horizon.  but never, never losing sight of the light.

thank you to Paula F, for encouraging me to be a better me.  you are my light.  and thank you to my cyber-clapping internet-encouraging facebook friends.