My daughter woke up early, spent nearly 7 hours at school, and an additional hour afterwards in gymnastics. She was tired, but after we dropped off her brother at his gymnastics class, we walked to the nearby playground.
For 20 minutes, we ran around, but even I felt spacey between reaching the end of the week and the beginning of another allergy season. As I sat down at a picnic table next to the playground, my daughter climbed into my lap and said, “I’m so tired, Mama.”
Well, there were no couches and it was too warm to sit in the car so we sprawled out on the picnic bench, and I let her amuse herself with the iPad while we waited for my husband to pick her up and bring her home.
There was nothing wrong with my series of parenting decisions: 10 hours after my 5-year-old woke up, she was tired and wanted to chill out like many adults and children need. But as car after car drove by in the busy parking lot, I envisioned the quick click of a smartphone to capture my daughter and me sitting right next to a playground playing on an iPad, and the driver vilifying us all over social media with the caption: This is what’s wrong with America.
And I thought: Maybe what’s wrong with America is a snapshot is assumed to capture the entire picture.