People always seem to want to criticize today’s parents for “living vicariously” through their children, but sometimes, perfectly innocent parents are thrust into that role through absolutely no fault of their own. Sometimes, the real culprit is actually their child…

When our daughter was home from college recently she uploaded (or is it downloaded? I literally have no idea) her Instagram account onto my iPad. I’m not 100% sure why she did this, but I can speculate. I’m betting it’s not because her eyesight is failing and she can’t see her friends’ pictures without the benefit of a larger screen; I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that her phone was dead and my iPad was the only device that was charged-up at the moment, so she simply helped herself. After she performed this download/upload task, she cyber-socialized a bit and then drove herself back to the university and the Mansion where she lives down there; they call it “The House.” That was on a Sunday afternoon.

Things were quiet for a few days. (For those of you not blessed with college students, these kids are super dedicatedĀ to their studies, and your investment, 3 days out of 7, so there’s not a lot of traffic on the social interstate Monday – Wednesday.) It was a few days later, the following Thursday night, when I was lying in my ibed reading my ibook, minding my ibusiness, when all Hell broke loose. “Notifications” start dinging away across the top of my screen, as though The Transylvanian Orchestra had set up right there inside my ipad to play me my own personal lullaby. I fell asleep long before I had a chance to become annoyed, but it appears as though the dinging continued merrily throughout the night.

The next morning was a little like waking up to that first snowfall of the season. When I poured my coffee and attempted to check my email, my screen saver had been blanketed overnight with a flurry of “LIKES.” Around 300! I didn’t even know what I had done, much less who I had done it with, or more importantly, how I looked doing it. But, what I did know, was that my daughter, Gracie was buried somewhere under this avalanche of social validation…

I waited a very polite 5 hours before I texted her. (We have different time schedules.) When I asked her about it, SHE actually had the audacity to fuss at ME.

“Whatever you do, Mom, DO NOT HIT THE “LIKE” BUTTON ON THOSE PICTURES! You have no idea how Instagram even works! You’ve actually done that before, and since that’s MY account on your IPad, it’d be the equivalent to Me liking my own pictures! I’m really not trying to hurt your feelings, but it’d probably be best if you just steered clear of my Instagram account for now.”

That was on Friday morning.

That night, around the same time, maybe a tad later, the same thing happened. It seemed as though I was just as popular as I was the night before, with even more people dinging my praises! Ever curious, I couldn’t help myself, I closed out my book app and tapped on that camera-looking-thingy, devoting the rest of the evening to “steering” my way around her Instagram. I’m a firm believer in, “learning by doing,” “trial and error,” and, if all else fails, I’m not above a short YouTube tutorial.

Jimmy and I had such an entertaining weekend getting to know our daughter’s friends over Instagram. It was like Parents Weekend, without all the unnecessary travel and costly hotel and restaurant charges.

And those kids had the cutest names! They reminded me of those old CB Handles from the 1970s.

They were semi-incognito – like “maddieboddie.” Pretty sure that’s my niece. Hey Madeline – Aunt Sessie loves you!


“Imbringingsexyjack!” He’s bringing clever back is what he’s doing.

What about, “thrillyjilly?” I bet that gal can really bring the party.

I had a CB name when I was a kid – it was “Brillo Pad!” I’ll give you one guess why…

With Jimmy’s demanding career and our family being as large as it is, he really relies on me to keep tabs on all of our children. (That’s one of the reasons I’m so keen on updating my social media skills. It’s imperative that I stay sharp and current.) This morning, he asked me if I’d heard anything from Gracie yet this weekend, I answered, “Not so far, but I can show you a cute picture of her from last night on Instagram!”

Just as he reached out for my ipad, I started to admonish him, “Don’t touch the screen…” But it was too late. A red heart emoticon popped up right over the fluffy blonde head of “bythegracieofgod.”

As you might imagine, she got an immediate notification on her smart phone that the good folks back home had not just liked her own picture on HER OWN INSTAGRAM account, But, actually maybe even just LOVED IT! She’s none too pleased and mentioned deleting her Instagram account off my IPad as first order of business when she gets home next week for Spring Break.

Problem is, Daddy and I are so enamored with Instagram now, that I’m going to be forced to revive my old CB HANDLE and start my own Instagram account…

“brillopad” didn’t just LIKE your picture, she freaking LOVED it!

That’s a big 10-4 Good Buddy!




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