The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Monday, November 28, 2005

Know my blog, know me

My brother and his wife spent the night here last week before we all headed up to my parents' house for Thanksgiving. It was the first time they had been here in several years, and I'd been looking forward to their visit and to the opportunity for my kids to connect with their oft-mentioned, seldom seen aunt and uncle. After several hours spent devising unusual uses for ordinary toys with Julia and tossing a "ball ball" back and forth with Evan, we packed the kids off to bed and cracked open a bottle of wine. As we were sitting and visiting, my brother happened to look up at my kitchen wall, where some of Julia's artwork was taped. "Hey," he exclaimed enthusiastically. "It's the Dogs At Home project!"

"Do you feel like know my kids better after reading about them in my blog?" I asked him as we laughed together at the picture. "Definitely," he replied. In truth, after an afternoon of watching him interact with them, I already knew that. He and Jordan had handled Julia's slow warm up style just right. They had managed to engage and entertain Evan without alienating Julia. Despite the miles and the months that separate us, they had clearly done their homework here before they arrived. They knew exactly how to maximize a visit with my kids, and Julia and Evan were madly in love with their aunt and uncle in no time as a result.

As happy as I was to see that my writing had helped to bring my brother and sister in law closer to my kids, the rest of Dan's answer caught me off guard. "It helps me to know you better, too, you know," he told me. "I'm tired watching you do all that you do with the kids. And I understand more about what you're really doing and how it affects you after reading your blog."

I wasn't frankly so sure, back when Dan first stumbled onto my little corner of the Internet, how I was going to feel about him reading what I write here. Was it going to be like a little brother stumbling on his older sister's diary? Would it feel awkward when we talked about things I'd written about, things I knew he'd read? Would I feel the need to censor myself, or at least to think a little more before I hit the "publish" button? It did feel a little funny at first, but I trusted that it would all work out and it has, better than I might ever have imagined. Completely by chance, blogging has brought me closer to my brother than I've been in years. It makes me wonder, even as I weight the privacy issues and the potential that I might lose my voice or my freedom of expression, which other relationships in my life might benefit from a well timed Google search or even a directly shared link. I'm still working it all out in my mind, but I'm beginning to think that online anonymity (not that I've tried so hard to preserve mine here or Dan would never have found me in the first place) might just be overrated. Stay tuned as I figure out just what that might mean.


At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Becca's Brother said...

I'm so glad I'd been reading, too. I had a blast playing with Julia and Evan this past week. I wish we could all see each other more. Have you considered picking up and moving to the west coast?

I know that Paul wants you to share your Blog with Mom, if only to avoid the conflict which will occur when I (inevitably) let the cat out of the bag by mistake. I think you should share it with her for the same reasons it means so much to me - it lets me get to know you and your kids in a way I never would have and makes our time together richer. Mom may see you guys a couple times a month, but she would love getting her "grandkid fix" on a daily basis. And hell, if you can discuss dildos as sporting equipment with Mom and Dad already, there is not much self censoring left, is there?

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

Your brother's got a point....

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Dana said...

I've settled on a strange medium. Only a few RL friends know but my family does. I told my mom and she told, well everyone. But, with my "blessing" if such even has meaning when you make something public anyway. My extended family is scattered all over the country, many of whom I don't see often if at all. Its nice to know they see a little corner of my life every now and then. But it is a bit strange to hear my dad say, when Iain asks what he should watch on tv, "Anything except Thomas the Tank Engine!"

I will be staying tuned waiting to see what decisions you make. Not to mention waiting for a post about the dildos and sporting equipment.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Rosemary said...

Still working out those same issues about blogging myself, Rebecca. Working on a design that would be interactive (async) conversation. Im not sure I lke this posting comments paradigm because I feel as though it is one way - no conversation.


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