Last August, during standard “back-to-school” photos, one mom (a dear friend of mine) in a split second decision, asked her kids to make a sad face for a fun photo. The pic was snapped by her husband in one take. She slapped it up on her Facebook page and thought nothing of it. A bit of a laugh, that’s all.
Well, a friend shared it on Facebook (not me!). And then another and another. Soon it was posted on Reddit and 1.5 million hits later, Good Afternoon America picked it up as well as BuzzFeed, Babycenter and various regional news websites. What was fascinating was how the Internet (surprise!), polarized heatedly around my friend’s mothering. Detractors ranged from assaults on her appearance to teachers bemoaning parents who view school as free baby-sitting to other mothers ripping her parenting skills apart in great detail. Yet for each detractor, hundreds of commenters came in to defend her and challenged critics to lighten up. Every time she was tempted to dive in and comment, others took care of the over-zealous and the hateful.
Several months later, I am sitting in her kitchen and we’re laughing about it all. She’s about the funniest woman I know with clever wit and amazing outlook on life. And when her (perfectly delightful, well-adjusted and deeply supported) kids got out of school a few weeks ago, they got their own revenge. So lighten up Internets!
Photos used with permission of the subjects!