“Look mom! Look at all the people that liked my game!”
“Uh huh…cool! Do you know any of those people?” I question
“No. They are just people who played my game. Look! Look!”
“Can you comment on people’s games?”
“No mommy,” she answered looking away with a look that told me she wasn’t telling the truth.
“Olivia…do you? I won’t be mad. Tell me the truth,” I press.
“Show me,” I say as I move to sit right next to her on the couch.
Createrria had become an instant love, as soon as I showed it to her. Make your own games. Play your own games. Share them with others. Get and give feedback on games. Earn gems. She loved it and I did too…but I was suddenly concerned. I wasn’t concerned about her desire to connect with others or her desire to share or create. I was concerned with the medium in which she was going to start developing these skills.
I knew it was time.
“Sweetheart, come scootch next to me. Mommy wants to show you something.”
I pulled out my phone and opened the app. I showed her the pictures. I showed her our family and friends that were on their too. I told her I thought she was old enough, that I could trust her enough and that I thought she was ready to have an Instagram account (a private one). We set it up, added her profile picture, we wrote her bio and I showed her family and friends she could start to follow. She was ready to start sharing pictures of her world.
“Olivia, you should share that on Instagram. Mary so and so would love to see that.”
“No, that’s ok mommy,” she shrugged her shoulders, answered and skipped away.
“That’s such a great craft. You should share it on Instagram,” I encouraged.
“Maybe later Mommy, ” she shrugged her shoulders, answered and skipped away.
This went on for a few weeks. She had not found what I had thought she would….maybe I had been wrong.
Then this happen…
“Mommy!!!! Look at this picture I made in art class. Look it has foreground, middle ground and the background,” she explained as she pointed proudly at each part of the landscape drawing.
“I’m going to share it on instagram!” she smiled
“I think others would love to see that!” I smiled back trying to control my happiness
”Mom look at this story I wrote while I was laying on the blanket outside looking at the clouds. I also took this picture. It is so wonderful outside.”
“Olivia!!!!” I stared mouth hanging open as I held her iPod in my hand and read the story she wrote,”Olivia…..this story is fantastic!! Your picture is beautiful! What if you posted this story on Instagram with the picture?”
“That’s what I was thinking momma!”
“Go for it!” I smiled.
The next week…
”Mommy look at this story I drew. It’s about ponies!”
“Wow! Your imagination is ridiculous! That’s great stuff,” I said totally impressed.
“I’m going to write a story about it and share it on Instagram,” she said as she skipped upstairs.
Two hours later she walked into the living room with her drawing posted on Instagram with her story following it.
She showed me.
“Olivia, I am just so in awe of this! You are amazing! Ya know…I am thinking. You know how sometimes you write stories and share your creatiions on Mommy’s blog.”
“Yes,” she answered
“Well….I don’t think you should anymore,” I said firmly.
“Why mommy?” she asked smiling and wondering what I was up to…unsure of what was next and what idea I had brewing.
“I think you don’t need to. Look what you have done here. This is a blog post. Instagram is your blog. This is your space to share your creations, ideas and inspirations with others. This is a place for you to share your stories!! “
We smiled and we just stared at each other.
“I am so excited for you!”
“Me too mommy!”
I had hoped Instagram would give her feedback for the things she shared and created. I had hoped it would show her how we can connect with each other in positive ways. She had taken it to a whole new level. Suddenly, in pure Olivia style, she showed me that Instagram wasn’t just for pictures anymore. Instagram was a place for her to share her words, her voice…her story!!