Life Before Instagram

My oldest child has a cell phone. The reasons behind his having one are much the same as most parents cite. And the results of his having a phone are probably similar to other teens like him. He texts friends, calls me for rides home from school, and gives me the view of the top of his head more often than I’d like.

Isn’t that just like me to want more of his attention?

However, his attention is what I vie for right along with the apps and websites he visits on his cellphone. Just like nearly all the rest of us, Biggest gives much of his attention to his phone and what he finds there. More than once he’s said something like, “I was reading on Instagram.”

It would be hypocritical of me to judge his appreciation of Instagram. After all, I say the same thing about other social media platforms.

But what I would do for a moment back before Instagram.

Back when I was the center of his world, the thing he made sure to never leave home without, the place he went for information and advice.

He was born before the advent of social media. Born before his life could have been Instagrammed into daily microcosms. Born back when cameras were bulky and providers of memories but only after the photos came back from the store.

What would I Instagram of those years if I could?

I would capture the way his impossibly long eyelashes fluttered down to rest on his cheeks when he fell asleep in my arms.

I would capture his delight over the smallest of things: his toes, how the lids bang against the pans in the cupboard, a pile of leaves in the yard.

I would capture his first everything.

I would capture him.

But I suppose I did capture him…in the snapshots that live in my mind. And until I either age too much to remember his eyelashes resting on his cheeks, and his kitchen percussion unit, I shall still have him at age 3 months, and 14 months, and 5 years, and even at 15 years.

As long as the Instagram of my mind’s eye still boots up, I will have him.

I hope that is enough to ease what I know will ache….

Parenting is the ever-so-slowly peeling off of a Bandaid. No Instagram account can quite capture the exquisite torture I would do all over again if only just to have held my breath over the sheer beauty and wonderment of his impossibly long eyelashes fluttering down to rest on his smooth baby cheeks.

I did capture a moment but now must share it…

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