Liam McCarney may have started college last month a couple hours away from his parents' Delaware County home in Pennsylvania – but the 18-year-old freshman can't avoid his mom, thanks to social media.
In a video that's now going viral, Ann Pinto McCarney, a Delco native, took to Facebook on Wednesday to poke fun at her son for not calling her in the three weeks he's been away at college.
In the five-minute video, which had more than 93,000 views by Thursday afternoon, McCarney starts off grinning and waves into the camera, saying, "Do you remember me? I'm your mommy. I gave birth to you.
"Well, actually, I didn't quite give birth," McCarney, 46, continues. "I had to have a C-section to get you out. Big scar and hurt like hell. But that's OK. Do you remember that was me that gave you life?"
Later in the video, McCarney jokingly explains to Liam how to use a phone.
"I need to give you the benefit of the doubt," she teases. "Maybe you haven't forgotten me. Maybe you've forgotten how to use a phone."
McCarney, who teaches theater and recently opened Limelight Performing Arts Center in West Chester, said posting funny videos to social media is something she's done often — including when she was taking Liam, the second oldest of her four children, to look at colleges.
"I did a lot of videos with my son when we were on a college road trip, and they were pretty funny, because he wanted no parts of the videos," McCarney said with a laugh. "As soon as I gave birth and got stretch marks, I figured I had a right to torture him as much as I want."
McCarney said her son, a graduate of Salesianum School in Wilmington, is a good sport, though. He finally gave her a call on Thursday, the day after she posted the video.
"I had to schedule time with my busy boy. He's a freshman," the mom said.
McCarney said she was a "hot mess" when her two oldest kids, Liam and his older sister, left for college, and she thinks her video to Liam is getting attention because it resonates with other parents.
"He's not the exception to the rule. He's the norm," the mom said. "He's really not doing anything that 50,000 other college kids aren't doing.
"Sending your child off to college is so bittersweet to begin with. There's a combination of your heart is soaring and swelling with pride and yet it's breaking at the same time," she added. "So when you let them go like that, you don't want to feel like you've been completely erased from their life. I think it struck a chord."
Plus, she just enjoys joking and making people laugh, she said. She and her husband hadn't really been worried about their son, she said, joking that when they would text him to see how he was doing, they gathered from his "one-word answers" the he was doing well at school.
"I'm truly hoping that in college, they teach him to complete a sentence," McCarney said, laughing.
She did admit that before her video, Liam did call his dad once in the three weeks since he went away to college—to ask him to mail his Game Boy games.