If a play date wasn’t Facebooked then did it happen?

If a play date wasn’t Facebooked then did it happen?

This past weekend I witnessed the most beautiful and bizarre event. Our family met up with three other families to go sledding and NO ONE FACEBOOKED THIS. So, I wonder, did it happen?

Over the weekend, in a total fluke, I reached out to a few of my kindergartener’s friends’ families to see if they wanted to make an impromptu jaunt to our local rec center to go sledding. To my great delight they all said, yes!

So, Sunday, after lunch, my husband and I darted around the house to make up a batch of hot chocolate for 7 – 10 kids (the parents would have to fend for themselves, we’re not Rockefeller’s, for God sakes) we rounded up the sleds, a shovel, a brick mold for fort building, all the snow pants, and gloves, and hats, and we piled into the car to head out to the rec center. When we got there we saw absolutely zero sign that any kid had gone sledding down our town’s rec center hills. When I commented on this to my husband he replied, “Are you kidding? Kid’s don’t go outside anymore”. Damn, if he wasn’t right.

We clamored out of the car and trekked straight toward the steepest pitch of the hill. For the next few hours we spent every second soaking up the bliss that is sledding down a snow covered winter hill. Before we knew it, the kids – all 7 of them – had formed a gang hell bent on fort building, snowball fighting, and sledding so hard they crested the banks and skidded across the pavement of the parking lot.

At one slow, breath-catching moment, we all gathered around a pitcher of hot chocolate and box of donuts and we stood – parents and kids – in a local rec center parking lot enjoying an analog winter event. No screens. No phones. No urgent need to be anywhere but there.

Not one parent took out a smart phone to Tweet or Facebook the experience. We talked about how dangerous and fun we were as kids trying out trick maneuvers and using those old roll up plastic sleds and cardboard boxes to race down icy hills. We talked about the hope of our little tribe of kindergartner’s making it through k-12 as friends; we talked about the school board and our favorite teacher, Mrs, K. It was as if social media didn’t exits and I for one – in a twist of irony – was absolutely relieved.

Growing up my childhood was not photographed. In my living room there is a small photo album that had fewer than 20 pictures in it to sum up my entire childhood. In stark contrast, I have a hard drive with over 20,000 images of my kids and they are under 6! I’m learning how to back off from the impulse to whip out a phone to document every tiny moment. Seeing that I was not alone in this absence of a smart phone; that no other parent found the need to make this into a Facebook brag thread was marvelous.




Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.