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Martha Petteys

‘So there is this popular YouTube flogger ...” began my first born as we drove down the road.

“Flogger? What do you mean exactly by flogger?” I interrupted, anxious as to what gritty YouTube underbelly the child had dredged up.

“Not flogger. Vvvvvvvlogger,” she said, drawing out the V for her feeble-minded mother. “That is a video blogger.”

“OK. Because flogger is a person who hits people,” I said, finding the teachable moment.

“Really? I thought flog was a shoe?”

“No, that is a clog. Which is the same thing as a Croc. Which, by the way, are back in style. So are Birkenstocks.”

“Yes, I know,” she sighed as we waited at a traffic light. “You forwarded me the article on it. To be stylish, though, you have to wear cool athletic socks with the Birkenstocks.”

I looked at her. She looked at me.

“Yeah, I don’t get it either,” she said. “Anyway, back to my story. There is this popular YouTube vlogger ...”

So goes a conversation with my daughter.

Sometimes we take so many detours, we run out of gas before we ever reach the destination, each trying to help the other understand life from opposite sides of the map.

She’ll be going to high school next year, a brutal fact I was reminded of a couple nights before at the annual parent high school orientation. I sat in the stuffy auditorium, what will be her auditorium in six months time, listening to a guidance counselor talk about graduation requirements and college, which I thought was rather heavy handed.

Here I was not even sure I wanted to send my precious one to the big bad high school and they already had her speeding through four years, out the door and walking into college freshman seminar.

It know it goes fast. A blink of an eye. Before you turn around. Too quick. They grow up. I’ve heard it for 13 years.

I can’t slow it down. I can only hang on for the ride and enjoy every detour.

“So this vvvvlogger, Logan Paul ...” she continues, recounting yet one more viral story that I would be blissfully unaware of were it not for her detailed reports.

She can’t wait for high school. She’s told me she is excited for what is next.

I admire her bravery.

“... Wait a second,” said the girl, this time interrupting herself. “What is it they call the extra room at Uncle Wade’s house, the one over the garage?”

“Ahhh,” I said, pulling into our driveway as our dialogue meandered into another ditch.

“That is called a FROG. It stands for Family Room Over Garage. Now tell me your story!”

We were starting to flog this one to death.

Martha Petteys writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at or visit her on Facebook.


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