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You never stop being a parent but it seems your kids can make it a challenge to keep an eye on their lives. Thank goodness for technology. Our weekend was basically sponsored by SnapChat.

With a busy September behind her, Laura was content to try to have a quiet, normal weekend. Chris was leading a crew of friends/classmates on a run through the Nuit Blanche arts festival all over downtown Toronto, and Pad was with the Dal Tigers hockey team on its annual run to New England for a couple exhibition games.

There was a time when parents would really have to wait for the morning papers or a call for bail money to understand how their kids’ weekends played out. Social media let that cat out of the bag long ago and Laura and I stay pretty alert to the boys’ digital footprints.

SnapChat – an instant photo and video app – and text messaging kept us in the loop all weekend.

While Pad was riding a bus for 15 hours to Boston on Friday, I did manage to sneak out and catch Coach Dave’s son make his debut with Milton in junior A hockey action Friday night. They lost 2-1 to Buffalo but won the next night and it seemed clear to me that Will the Thrill is going to get used a lot in the weeks ahead.

And Saturday afternoon I watch two peewee house hockey games before coaching my own team to a 4-4 tie in its debut. I was frozen when I got home, so . . .

Saturday night we lit a fire and gathered around the ipad – just like in the 1940s? – to listen to the radio webcast of Dalhousie University versus UMass-Amherst in exhibition hockey play. Dal outshot their hosts on the night but came out on the short end of a 4-0.

Almost every Canadian university game is webcast in video, so listening only to audio – while way better than following a Twitter stream for updates – was not exciting weekend entertainment. Adding to that is the simple fact that the play-by-play man and his sidekick don’t know the Dal players, and the defencemen pretty much always are facing the play, making it hard for the commentators to identify them by the names on their backs.

So, as parents you listen for a mention of your kid’s name to see if he actually is there and playing, or whether he dreamed up some elaborate hoax.

Then came a moment in the first period when a UMass player was cutting across centre and was on the wrong end of a massive hit, which the play-by-play guy related to the audience with great gusto, gushing about the timing and punishing nature of the check.

Laura and I exchanged a quick glance, but neither said anything. And then the commentator said simply: “The name of that truck was Patrick Arnold.”

We chuckled. Laura said: “Like there was ever any doubt.”

The Dal F-150

The Dal F-150

On Sunday afternoon there was no video, no radio, no webcast and just a twitter feed to follow as Dal topped Sacred Heart 5-3. We heard occasionally from him on the long ride back to Halifax – a photo from a pitstop at one of those American liquor outlets the size of Wal-Mart — and when I got up at 515a to head to the gym, I was greeted by Snapchat updates and we texted back and forth.

Meanwhile, Chris’s weekend unfolded in high entertainment. He was in the heart of Toronto on Saturday night as 50,000 people streamed out of the Taylor Swift concert, 20,000 people streamed out of the Leaf games, and thousands of others wandered through Nuit Blanche.

Don’t tell him I said so, but Chris has an amazing gift for the camera – his video SnapChats are utterly adlibbed and funny and he’s like a taller, younger Rick Mercer the way he can talk, crack wise, and riff off his friends all in an eight-second video clip.

Maybe the truth is that all kids are simply that comfortable with the technology, but he seems to maybe have a facility for it. If only we could get someone to pay him to do it! And somewhere in all of that he managed to get himself and his entourage invited onto a boat and . . . I dunno. Honestly, he gets this stuff from his mother. Lake Ontario was whipped like the North Atlantic on Saturday night and fortunately the boat never left the dock. But they did have beer and, well, you know how that goes.

Packing his dirty laundry, Chris came home on Sunday afternoon to begin celebrating his birthday – his 19th. Laura cooked an amazing prime rib dinner, plus a cake, and there were presents and cash from relatives and the three of us had quite an evening.

We’ll do it all again tomorrow night – his official birth date – at a Keg somewhere, with a girlfriend (or two, since Pad’s GF may join us as his placeholder) in tow and Billy Miner pie on our minds.

– – –

I didn’t take the bike out on Sunday morning – the cooling trend in temperatures took the wind out of my sails. But when Laura went out to her Jazzercise class I did take my 20-pound dumbbells to the basement with my yoga mat and ran through a basic body-weight/core circuit for 50 minutes.

Sprinter situps. Box squats. Push ups. Curls. And a two-minute plank. The two-minute plank was thrown at us Saturday morning at training. Richard read an article that outlined 10 things that every lifter should be able to do.

He knows we are not lifters –at least, I AM NOT A LIFTER —  and few of us aspire to be, but he puts a lot of cred in the value of the plank – strong core, strong abs, strong back, fighting the muscle tension for two minutes. It’s a decent check up on your core strength.

Try it. It’s a long two minutes. I got through it as did the other six people in class. I did it again Sunday on my own.

And Richard made us do it again today and some people failed the challenge – so he made us start over, always popular.

You can read the article that pushed the plank back into my routine here.

No, I can’t do most of this stuff. But I’m working on it.