Confessions of a Google Mapping Mama

Google MapsSo yesterday I found myself Google mapping H.E.B. grocery stores near the University of Houston campus. I was planning ahead to our upcoming drop off visit to move Russel in and the limited amount of time I would have to help him get his room set up, shop for those last-minute items and stock his fridge, among other things. As I pondered these mom of a soon-to-be college student thoughts, I realized I had to be strategic with where we shopped. I couldn’t just GPS grocery stores on the spot – what if we went to the worst one nearby… or one with a horrible selection? A good, clean grocery store where products are actually what we eat and are easy to find is important! So it hit me – I should Google map the stores near the campus now. I found four stores close to the school and scrolled through each location’s customer comments.

Here are a few reviews straight off their sites —

“This store is a black eye on the HEB company. Rotten fruit. Long lines. Terrible selection. Awful customer service.”

“Ghetto store…no meat variety….all the pork u can want!”

” I guess you could say that I’m an HEB aficionado or whatever. My official, expert opinion on this one: It’s pretty dope. Extensive produce, helpful staff, nice bakery….”

With that last one, I thought – “Ding, Ding – we have a winner!” All the reviews I read for that site were equally glowing. That was the one I’d point him to!

My next thought was I should take him with me so he could see where it is, and then hopefully when he has to go alone for the first time he won’t get lost. You see, my son is amazingly directionally challenged. Truth be told – I’ve never met a person who could so easily lose sight of which way to go to reach your destination. When he entered middle school, he bravely asked if he could ride his bike to school. We were so proud! “Of course,” we said! And then when he asked where he turned to get there, we hung our heads. After all those years of driving by it daily — he still didn’t realize the school is on our street. There is no turn to get there.. you just go straight.. all the way.. until you reach the school.

And this is the dear child we are about to send to college. I know I’m probably being somewhat of a helicopter mom. It could be said I’m over preparing to prepare him and help him be ready for being on his own. I can’t help it though. Years from now I bet he’ll look back on it all and laugh. Who knows, he could already be doing that now when I’m not around – wise boy that he is!

The thing is – my son can never doubt my love for him. While the ways I show it may sometimes be slightly off track – the heart behind it all is good! And then I know, when we pull away and head back to Austin, he will figure these things out. He will find his own place to shop. He will find his favorite hang outs and I bet he’ll find a way to get to them with out much difficulty thanks to Google maps on his phone and he can always ask the people around him. I just want to know I did everything I could do to ready him. Because I know, there will be enough surprises, enough moments of having to figure things out with out our help. When those moments come, I know we have prepared him in the best possible way. He knows where to go for this one. He knows to go to God. He can ask anything. And God will help him navigate through. I bet, he could even help him find his way when he feels lost.

Yes, my son is in good hands. And of course, he can always call home.

Amy O’Donnell



  1. debserrano

    So good Amy!


  2. Amy O'Donnell

    Thank you Debra!


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s