Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Hmm...How to start? I have no clue, so I'm just going to dive in and see what comes out. I used to do that with papers in college. I could never write the first sentence until I had already written half of the paper. I guess that's just a feature of the way I write. I don't always have a complete idea of what I want to say until I've already spilled half of it.

I have this here blog thingy-do, and I'm wondering what to do with it. I enjoy blogging, but I've been starting and not finishing posts a lot lately. The problem isn't writer's block. It's more a matter of the fact that I'm no longer comfortable posting many things about my favorite blog topic. Michael.

Last night, while Michael was waiting for me to bring him something from the kitchen, he scanned my bookshelf and found a copy of Fox in Socks. He pulled it out and climbed onto the sofa and started to try and read the book. He kept spelling words and asking me what they were. It was a really awesome moment for me. I finally came in, sat next to him, and we worked on reading the box together.

While he's still my baby, and he's only 4.5 years old, he's also becoming an aware and sensitive individual. At 2.5, I never really worried about how he would feel 10 years from now when he read what I wrote about him on my blog. Letter obsession, dinosaur obsession, and picky eater. Fairly common little boy stuff. But he's changed a lot since then. Well, he's still into letters and dinosaurs, and he's still a picky eater...but he's also so much more.

The other night during dinner, Michael actually tried everything on his plate. He liked the chicken and he liked the rice, but after giving the green beans a fair try, he said he didn't like them. I started to respond to him, but before I said anything he said, "I know I'm missing out on foods because I don't like them." It wasn't snarky or rude. It was just acknowledging a comment that Andy and I have made about a hundred times. It was clear that he gets it. He's considered what we have said, and in this case he's made the decision that he does not like green beans.

Things like that are happening a lot now. The questions he asks and the things he says show a greater depth of understanding and a greater level of awareness. Things embarrass him now. Things make him uncomfortable. And he can articulate that to us. For that reason, I don't always feel that it's right to post some of the things he says and does. If I think that it would embarrass him now, or later, I have a responsibility not not share that with the internet where anyone can read it.

So, I'm trying to figure out what exactly my blog is going to be now. This has never been a blog simply for keeping track of memories. (If it was, my frequent missing of holiday posts would be a major fail) So, please be patient with me as I try to work out where I'm going with all of this.


LauraC said...

I am right there with you. Do people notice the subtle change that I now blog more about our life than I do about the kids themselves? I used to write a lot more about each kid but I just don't feel like publicly is the place to do it.

But then it feels gross to write more about me, kwim? Sometimes I think if a stranger started reading now, they would be like "Who is this crazy lady posting pictures of herself in helmets and writing about her house?"

Andy said...

It's always been a concern of mine to post anything related to others online. Be it twitter, facebook, or a blog, I think it's ok to post a perspective, or an opinion about a public figure, maybe give an account of an event that took place, or a cute story. But anyone can see this stuff, so friends, or possible employers can google you and see all the stupid things that people tweet or post about you and even though you have no control over what others posts, they can reflect badly on you and cause you future headaches.

Deanna said...

I think that's why my blog is so stale. I reached a point where it hit me that this stuff is out there and I'm really not sure what I want to be sharing. But on the other hand, I love reading the personal stories of other people, other moms, other women, because it's the personal stuff that makes it so easy to relate to someone. I've loved reading about Michael because it's really helped me get a glimpse of what's around the corner with my own little dude (acknowledging, of course, that each child is different and an individual). It helps to read the stories of other women and what they face in their jobs - or how they balance work with life - and how life sometimes turns everything upside down. Reading your blog and then jumping over to Laura's blog, I've been inspired to try to run a Warrior Dash next year (my husband thinks I'm absolutely nuts and will not make it through it without hurting myself. he doesn't realize that's only more encouragement for me! ha!).

So, back to the original theme - how do we blog, keep it interesting, keep that personal connection, yet guard our privacy (in as much as privacy exists on blogging)?

Stacey said...

This makes a lot of sense. I've never been a good blogger. I start a lot of posts that don't end up finished or posted. I feel like I'm not being authentic when I write cute posts, and feel like I'm violating The Mom Code when I write what's really on my mind. And no one besides you even reads my blog so I can imagine this would be worse with a greater audience.

I've been thinking of reinventing a blog that has a public purpose and would be fun for me. I hope you will find something you are comfortable with because I love reading your blog. Your brilliant sense of humor and perspective are so wonderful to read. And, of course, I love reading about the East Coast version of Cole.

Karen said...

Since my blog has mainly been a place to keep track of family memories and a record of medical visits/updates, I am not struggling with this as much. I hope that you can find the voice that you want to continue to write entertaining, thought-provoking blogs!

P.S. Stacey - I read your blog :)

Maria said...

You know what I am going to say, I'm sure. I would miss it terribly, but totally get it. As long as you don't fall off the face of the earth in all other forms of communication, we're good!

Beth said...

My blog is my memory. I always think about what I will want to know and remember 50 years from now. And I think about what I wish I could read about myself when I was a kid. For whatever reason, I have kept up with my blog, whereas I have never been a consistent with keeping a journal. At any rate, I think there are lots of things that you can write about that won't embarrass Michael. But as the kids get older, it definitely requires more discretion. Good luck figuring out how to move forward, and what you want from your blog. I'd hate for you to stop! And I loved how you wrote about the subtle changes going on with Michael. That's how I feel, too, about William. It's so hard to articulate, but you did it so well.

JenFen said...

Maybe I am missing something but I don't think it has to be an all or nothing thing. I feel similarly to Beth in that my blog is a journal, a memory book, a way to keep friends and family a part of our life,something I want the kids to look back on. I can't always say exactly what I want to say but I think it is still a pretty intimate look into all of our lives. I don't want what I write to be any more embarrassing then say, whipping out a naked butt picture of Jake when he was a toddler and showing it to his girlfriend when he is older(much, much older). I guess that is my gauge. Do I have to censor more as they get older? Sure. I think that is only natural.

For me, yes my blog is public but I pretty much know who is reading it. I don't have a lot of random strangers reading my blog for pleasure. You kind of have to know our family to want to read my blog. I understand that people can search out my blog and that is why to a point, I am careful about what I write about to an extent. It does inhibit sometimes that is for sure.
So I do understand where you are coming from and I hope you find a way in which you can continue to write and enjoy it because I would be sad if you stop blogging. Very, very sad.

Andy said...

I guess you have to know what your kids personality is, because I know that my mother liked to pull out embarrassing pictures and videos of me as a kid because they were "cute" and it horrified me and I took it as her taking pleasure in embarrassing me. Continually doing things like that to me caused me to loose a lot of trust in my mom. You can never be sure what will trigger a kids sensitivity and what you find cute could end up being a future therapy session.

Julie said...

Please keep blogging Joanna! You totally make me laugh. Even if it is more stories about you needing "those" kinds of glasses and less about Michael. You are great at making ordinary things hilarious.