Sunday, June 8, 2014
There was a suggestion made on my last post that my children certainly lead well-documented lives. The comment left me with the uncomfortable question of whether the person thought I might be violating my family's privacy, or else being intolerably self-indulgent in how I write about them. I wasn't completely clear on why the observation pricked me, but it stung enough so that I immediately took down the post, and found myself unable to write another one while I processed my feelings. I suppose what I've arrived at is that documenting our lives is the point of this blog to begin with, to document my life and the life of my family, to put it right here in one place as a record, to celebrate my extravagant blessings and to explore some of the harder realities too.
Which is not to say I tell everything about my life, or my husband's or my children's lives. Even though the blogosphere can sometimes feel like old friends gathered around a kitchen table, still there is so much I never broach here, because in fact I do respect my children's privacy. I never put up posts that they might feel uncomfortable with, but they're the Facebook generation so that gives me quite a bit of leeway. Still I was pitched to that edge that I suppose all bloggers must navigate: writing for oneself or writing for one's readers. In an ideal world, one hopes to do both, but considering it anew, I realize that if I must err on one side or the other, then I am most definitely writing this blog for myself first, as a way to see my life whole, to feel the great ocean of gratitude at being the mother of these two particular children, to process my own fears and anxieties, to set down the tenor of each day, to keep myself rooted. Sane.
The truth is, sometimes I don't know what I am feeling until I write it down. And sometimes I cannot hold on to what shines and heals me until I fix its light and shadow in a photograph. So I accept that this friend (a person I very much admire and care about) may ... what? ... disapprove of? ... some of my blogging choices, but if it weren't what I needed to write for myself at that moment, then I would not be writing it. And if a photograph didn't have enough meaning for me as to make me want to collect it in this place, then I wouldn't be posting it. It gets tedious, I am sure. I remember when my own mother would talk what felt like incessantly about my brother and me to other people, glowing with pride in us, I would say to her, "Mom, please stop. These people are going to hate us." But she didn't stop. I guess I won't either. That's just how it is.