A viral photo of a father, his teenage daughter, and her boyfriend takes the old protective-dad adage “whatever you do to my daughter, I will do to you” quite literally.
Sharee Schock is a mom of four and professional photographer who invited her daughter’s date and some friends to take photos at her home before their Wisconsin high school homecoming dance. “Ricarra and her date started posing, and my husband, Benjamin, was watching and sort of jokingly said ‘whatever you do to my daughter, I will do to you.’ It was light and funny and everyone there was giggling,” Sharee tells Yahoo Parenting. “But once Ricarra’s date posed with his arms around her stomach, my husband was like ‘my turn!’ He jumped right in, and the boyfriend just smiled. He was a good sport about it.”
Sharee decided to make a split-screen collage of the two photos — with her husband Benjamin’s quote featured at the top — and then posted it on Facebook, where it received more than 36,000 likes and more than 3,000 comments within the last week. One fan then posted the image to Imgur with the caption “Sticking to his word!” where it has been viewed more than 3.3 million times.
Sharee Schock (back row) and her four kids, including Ricarra (far right), whose homecoming dance photo with her dad and boyfriend went viral. (Photo: Sharee Schock/Schock Photography)
The photo perfectly captures Benjamin’s sense of humor. “He’s the most outgoing person in our family. He’s the one with all the character, so he’s like this all the time,” Sharee says. High school sophomore Ricarra, the 15-year-old featured in the photo, is enjoying the attention, too. “When it happened, she didn’t say anything — I’m sure she just rolled her eyes at her dad. But she doesn’t seem to mind it now. She’s a local celebrity!”
The reaction to the photo has been a welcome distraction in the Schock family, Sharee says. Benjamin was recently diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2, a disorder characterized by the growth of noncancerous tumors. Last year, doctors discovered nine tumors on Benjamin’s brain and seven more on his spine, all of which are inoperable because of their location, but which cause Benjamin severe pain. “It started as a headache that wouldn’t go away for days, but the ultimate finding was a big shock to our family,” Sharee says. “We keep a very positive attitude and believe that things are going to be OK.
Still, Benjamin has had to take time off work, and Sharee says it’s been a financial struggle for the family of six. They have launched a GoFundMe page in hopes of helping with medical bills while Benjamin is out of work.
“We remain positive all the time — being scared and negative isn’t going to help anyone and will only bring us down,” Sharee says. That’s why their viral fame has been such a pleasure, she says. “It really captures our whole family attitude.”
Sharee says she’s not sure why this photo in particular has become so popular. “I think it’s normal dad behavior,” she says. “I think it’s funny. My dad use to clean his guns when my boyfriend came over, and this is a more modern, innocent way to say ‘I’m keeping my eye on you.’ It’s such a silly, simple picture, but that’s what makes it cute.”
(Top photo: Sharee Schock/Schock Photography)