Monday, May 08, 2006

A word to the zephyrs

At times questions seem to arise about the place of anonymity in all this blogging. The place? Uhm, let us say the factor of anonymity. What is the proper level, seems to come up for one. What about pictures? In our case of parent blogging, when do we get past simply embarrassing our kids and start exploiting them? When we began connecting to this writing life we constructed our edifice. For security and for fun, but also for distance-making within ourselves, I do believe.

I should be clear, if I haven't already... I find that parental blogging affords me a degree of freedom and relief not accessible elsewhere. I have at times felt need to explain (and continually fail) that while I never misrepresent myself or my related cast-mates... I am someone else in this venue.

When Dutch posited that some very serious ethical questions exist in reference to representation of our children online, I thought, well yeah. I thought about it some more. Wrote a couple drafts and I guess in the end I agree that blogging does not run a serious peril of being exploitative. Reality, on the other hand, that is a slam dunk/minefield of exploitation.


In all my (quite half-hearted) parenting research the resonant stream of what instructs me about the childrearin' is that I should raise an independent child. I tell the new Moms I know "It is six months of falling in love and 21 years of heartbreak" ... and remember I don't actually know anything, it just, you know, sorta... looks like it's going that way. With each day I am more crushed by the distance coming between my once omniscient powers and the person under construction. Simultaneously, every ounce of strength I summon to support this arrangement orginates in my oscillating pride and awe in her abilities. I didn't pause after birth and yell to p-man, "Quick get it on tape, she's breathing air. Do you believe it??"... But now I gasp as she climbs to the slide on her own -- or when she puts on her own pants, even when they are a shirt and the leg/armholes are all backwards. I shed some very memorable tears the first time I was accused of not wanting my daughter to be independent of me. Thanks Mom! I do. ...But, I don't.

The artifact that is this blog is not something I will ever repackage for the use of my children. It is for myself and for p-man. To know you all I suppose. To feed my slackass parenting research cycle from my living room chair, pjs dotted with ice cream drips and tea at my elbow. Also, it is a way for me to cling to her stages, I really hate that characterisation but alas I am not the writer; to cling to her stages in some manner of degrees. I can represent her for what she is not with each post. I can keep her young in the afterthoughts of my day with you in a manner not possible as my hand floats around her periphery should she stumble going to the slide. I can suppress my bemusement in her face and instead lay out my praise to her good dressing habits chanting her attributes as a big girl. To her face I must deconstruct myself, her mother.

While my pint-sized muse might at some age have a curiosity about this thing I would not want her at it. Because, it is an unruly artifact and it is unfair, at times unethical. It is a venue of exploitation. But lucky for us it is not so popular as to make me worry overmuch.

In some untrodden region of my mind,
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind:
Far, far around shall those dark-cluster’d trees
Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;
And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull’d to sleep;
Ode to Psyche -- Keats, John



Blogger kittenpie said...

oh, yes, the want and fear of our children's independence is such a minefield. It's no wonder parents never sleep. And it will be so much scarier when their insistence upon it keeps our hearts in our mouths as the consequences are so much farthr-reaching. Gives me chills, it truly does.

Meanwhile, I just realized that I had totally left you off my blogroll all this time I've been reading faithfully! Oversight corrected. (Bad kitten!)

9:32 a.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Many times I've wondered if posting pictures of my daughter with a few quips and calling it a blog entry is the right use of the medium. For now and for me I would have to say it is right. But if that day comes that my blog is used for anything but its intended purpose I will take it down so fast as to make my own head spin. Too little too late at that point, perhaps. Until then I will continue to enjoy this "freedom" of expression!

1:25 p.m.  
Blogger L. said...

My blog is mostly a "keeping in touch with my faraway friends" blog, more than anything else, and I write with the thought in the back of my mind that my kids, two of whom can read, are likely to stumble upon it someday. In some ways, though, that really makes it like a letter -- never write anything to anyone that you don`t want future generations to find saved in shoebox and share with the world. Works for me, anyway. (Fortunately, our overall life is pretty tame, so I don`t really have to waste much time thinking about the implications of revealing it.)

8:03 p.m.  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

"I can keep her young in the afterthoughts of my day with you..."


And? "Not writer"? Pshaw.

3:01 p.m.  
Blogger Mom101 said...

This gives me so much food for thought. I think your approach is very wise and well-considered. Like Mrs Chicky I'd hate to do anything to compromise my family in any way, but I do feel like there's are certain aspects my daughter will have to come to terms with as she gets older, seeing as how she has a writer/memoirist for a mom.

Cops' kids , pilots' kids, kids of parents who travel or work night shifts or live in the public eye--they all learn to live with their parents situations. I suppose this is the same in a way.

11:24 a.m.  

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