One of the hardest things about blogging about your kids is knowing where to draw the privacy line. At some point their stories become theirs alone, and no longer something I can conscientiously share. We hit that stage maybe a year ago, when I was hearing “Don’t post that picture on Facebook!” and “Don’t share that!” more often than not. My stories of epic granola fights in the crib and middle of the night shopping sprees and decorating gingerbread houses are likely coming to a close. The stories I share will now be mine alone, or subject to offspring approval.
But this one is mine.
At 11:15 this morning I picked J up from school, and like that…I no longer had a child in elementary school. At 11:15 on the eighth of June in the year of our lord 2015, there was a new middle schooler and a high schooler under my roof. There was little rejoicing. Growing up and moving ahead is scary for them, and terrifying for me. College (or something along those lines) in four short years? An entirely empty nest in seven? More than half of this hands-on parenting journey is over? (Ok, maybe there’s a teeny tiny bit of rejoicing). When I started writing this blog they were not quite five and not quite two; I was desperate for answers on parenting, giftedness, and sanity…and started writing to find those. Looking ahead the same number of years we’re into the age when I was already married and in grad school. The mind boggles. I don’t know if I’m ready for this stage of life. Dating and driving and college-prep (or something along those lines) and discussions about retirement that are less “eventually” and more “sooner than I care to admit.” I’m no longer a young mom; I’m an experienced mom with kids old enough to babysit. Andy is five years from the age at which I met Tom. I realized that a few weeks ago and nearly hyperventilated myself into oblivion.
How to tell my stories without inadvertently sharing those of my sons? How do I share the challenge of parenting gifted and twice-exceptional kids…nay, young adults…without letting slip their struggles? It’s not as though I’m sharing lighthearted tidbits like piano recitals and track meets; writing about the struggles in scaffolding your child’s executive function weaknesses is a little more invasive to their privacy. I deeply believe that “if you decide to confide in others, you’ll discover you’re not alone,” but when that butts up against your child and his privacy and his future…it’s so much harder. When I started writing here I was anonymous, and I often miss that, despite the benefits of having my name connected to this site. But what’s done is done and I move forward.
My stories are mine, and I’ll continue to share them as best I can without interfering with their privacy and their futures. It kills me that I can’t share some of the stories and jokes and phrases that come out of the mouths of this crew, because they are blog gold. I can see how they might be embarrassing; when you’re laughing about puberty with your parents it’s probably best to know your mom isn’t going to share it with god and the whole world, but damn. My boys are funny and are developing the whacked out senses of humor you might suspect they’d have from having me as a parent.
I knew eventually this day would come, and now that day is here.
I completely understand! I parent two twice-exceptional kids – Teen & Tween – and blog my stories from my perspective, but my story obviously intertwines with theirs. I asked their permission before entering the blogosphere and they kindly expressed dismay on my behalf that I wasn’t already here. I decided to use no names or faces to protect their anonymity at this sensitive stage of life, which they respect, but honestly, they just don’t care all that much about what I write on my blog, mostly perceived as Mom’s quirky hobby. I’ve enjoyed your blog and hope you can find a way to stay true to sharing your parenting experience while honoring their adolescent journey. Blessings!
Ha! Mom’s quirky hobby! I like that.
I hardly write on mine anymore for the same reason. Their stories aren’t mine these days. I guess I should give a formal goodbye, but I’m not ready.
I don’t want to quit writing here, not by a long shot. I just have to figure out the balance between my stories and there. I love writing too much.