In the weeks after Josh Duggar was convicted on child pornography charges, his mother, Michelle Duggar, kept well away from social media.
She and husband Jim Bob Duggar issued a terse statement in which they expressed sympathy for the victims but refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing on the part of their son.
After that, the couple steered clear of Instagram and other outlets for several weeks.
Jim Bob still has not been spotted on social media, but Michelle re-emerged in January on her eldest daughter Jana’s page.
Jana shared the photo above to her Instagram Stories along with the news that several Duggars would be traveling to the West Coast to spend time with Jinger Duggar, who moved to Los Angeles several years ago.
Earlier this week, there were indications that the rest of the family had returned home without Jana.
This led to hopes that Jana had moved to LA permanently and would be taking up residence with her sister.
(Typically, Duggar women are only permitted to move out once they’ve gotten married, and at 32, Jana has sparked concerns that she plans to live with her domineering parents for the rest of her life.)
On Monday, however, Jana announced that she was returning to Arkansas by herself, having stayed a few days longer than her mother and siblings.
(Jana and Michelle were joined by James, Jason, and Joy-Anna Duggar, as well as Joy’s husband, Austin Forsyth.)
But the explanation that Jana simply decided to hang out a few days longer did not stop the rumor mill from churning.
Fans wanted to know why Michelle had spent all of that time in Los Angeles, but had not taken the time to pose for a photo with Jinger.
Many took the absence of photographic proof as a sign that the rumors of a rift between Jana and her parents were true.
Perhaps in response to this speculation, Jana shared the photo above on Thursday.
Now, typically one shares vacation photos during the vacation, not several days after returning home.
So fans have been speculating that Jana posted the pic for the sole purpose of shooting down the longstanding rumors that Jinger and Michelle do not get along.
If you’ve been following this family for any length of time, then you’re probably aware that Jinger is considered the most rebellious of Jim Bob and Michelle’s 19 children.
She first distinguished herself from the pack by wearing pants instead of skirts in defiance of her family’s dress code.
(Of course, she did this only after getting married to Jeremy Vuolo and receiving his permission. The Duggars standards for rebellion are different from those of most families.)
Jinger later became the first Duggar of her generation to leave Arkansas on a permanent basis, moving to first to Texas and then to LA with Jeremy soon after getting married.
It’s long been rumored that Jim Bob and Michelle do not approve of their most independent-minded daughter, but perhaps Jana’s photo proves otherwise.
Or perhaps it simply proves that with one of their children behind bars for appalling crimes, Jim Bob and Michelle have become more forgiving of their other kids.