For last week’s blog, I had used pictures that my friends Jeff and Ann took of Wayne participating in the Central Florida TriKidz triathlon. I was writing my blog as Jeff was putting the pictures on Facebook, which worked out perfectly for me, since I needed the pictures for my blog.
While I was perusing Jeff’s Facebook album, I “tagged” Wayne (my son) whenever I saw him. When I saw the following picture of Wayne and his friend Alex tuckered out from swimming, biking, running, and theme parking, I tagged not only Wayne but “Dolphin” (he’s the gray blue-eyed guy in the bottom right corner):
I thought tagging Dolphin was “cute.” He is the latest in a succession of gray fuzzy security objects who have grown up with Wayne. At first there was an elephant (he “retired” in Marco Island prematurely); there was an earlier dolphin (who miraculously survived a year stranded in a Leon County Civic Center box only to be found by us a year after he was left); there were several Spikes (Spike is the beanie baby rhinoceros and I loved Spike because he was so easily replaceable — replaceability is good in your child’s security objects); and this Dolphin, who has been with us for quite a while now.
There is an inverse relationship between Wayne’s chronological age (increasing) and the public appearances that these gray fuzzy animals make (decreasing). They have pretty much been relegated to lives inside cars while Wayne is out living his life or hastily stuffed under couch pillows when guy friends come to the house.
If I had been paying attention to the reclusive tendencies Dolphin has had recently, I probably could have predicted Wayne’s reaction to the “tagging incident” more accurately. I just happened to mention, “Hey, Mr. Jeff posted the pictures from the triathlon and I tagged Dolphin” and instead of, “gee Mom that’s hysterical,” I was met with immediate tears. Turns out Wayne was a lot less interested in sharing Dolphin with my 572 Facebook friends than I was.
So I scrambled — since I was not the original owner of the picture, what was done was done — I could not “untag” Dolphin. I sent Jeff a message describing the damage my overzealous tagging had done and he (blessedly) untagged “D” first thing the next morning, no questions asked.
All week I have had this picture in my head of Dolphin with one of those fuzzy things over his face like they have on those cop shows when they are protecting the identities of the innocent. Something like this:
In the long run (pun intended), I decided there is only one fair way to deal with the issue of “D”. Before I unveil the final edited picture, though, here’s the takeaway:
If I had not offhandedly mentioned to Wayne the “tagging,” he never would have known. However, it was something I did for me and not at all for him. I learned a lesson that a certain set of parents of 8 children is completely missing right now (in my opinion): our children have to be able to trust that we as parents will think before taking liberties with their images, identities, and hearts. I may have 572 friends on Facebook who would get a chuckle out of something like this, but I only have two children counting on me to give them an emotional safe haven.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.