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I learned several things at a recent “Twilight” movie release party at my local Borders bookstore:

1. Mixing a strawberry smoothie with chocolate syrup to create a blood-like berry blast results in a rather tasty treat

2. The C.I.A. should look into recruiting teen girls because they have an extraordinary ability to recall infinitesimal details.

3. The “Twilight” series and movie may be the mother-daughter bonding mechanism of the decade.

The crowd was smaller than those I’d witnessed at similar “Harry Potter” book release parties, but what really interested me was the ratio of mothers to daughters at the event. There seemed to be at least one mother for every two girls present and they weren’t just there as a disinterested chaperon or a patient chauffeur. No, these adult women were active participants. These moms talked, with as much fervor as the tweens surrounding them, about favorite parts of the book they wanted to see translated onto the screen. They also pawed through the various “Twilight” merchandise.

They deftly debated whether Kristen Stewart was the right choice to play Bella. Many in the group thought that “Gilmore Girls'” Alexis Bledel would have been a better choice. They proudly proclaimed themselves Team Edward or Team Jacob–all without their daughters seeming horribly embarrassed. In fact, the mothers and daughters seemed to be–gasp!–enjoying each others’ company.

When the conversation turned to a scene in the movie (warning: spoiler alert) where Bella and Edward reportedly make out while Bella’s in her underwear, both mothers and daughters complained that not only was the scene not in the book, the scene went too far in ruining the innocence of Bella and Edward’s love.

Now, I’m not entirely sure how innocent their love really is–some of those neck-sniffing scenarios are downright erotic–but I was pleasantly surprised how teen girls raised on belly-baring Britney thought kissing in one’s undies crossed some type of line.

But it’s not just mothers who are enjoying the bonding benefit of “Twilight.”

A male friend of mine discovered that since he started listening to the audio book, his daughters have been more open to talking to him about what they do and don’t like about boys, via character dissection. Daughters talking openly with moms and dads about objects of affection? Could a mutual love of “Twilight” actually open up lines of communication between parents and children on a topic as important as sex and relationships?

Maybe I’m imbuing the book with other-worldly, Edward-like powers, but there’s no denying that the book is bringing moms, some dads, and their teens together. Take for example a co-worker of mine who drove with her daughter many hours to Philadelphia, to wait in line for many more hours, just to see Robert Pattinson and to get his autograph. Now that’s what I call quality time!

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