Following the lead of a blogger I used to read a lot, Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child, I had always said that I’d stop blogging much about The Who once he entered kindergarten. I remember her saying something about kindergarten seeming like the time where her child’s life story really became his instead of hers and it rang true to me. (Scroll to the bottom of the linked post to see the bit about this.) At the time, The Who was just a couple of years old and kindergarten seemed a long way off. And she, at the time, had two kids. So, when she phased one out of the blog, she still had another coming down the pike. Now that her middle child is in kindergarten, she has two younger twins to write about and although I think her hourglass is running out, she had so many years and so much fodder that not really being able to write about her kids when the time comes might feel ok to her. (Or, maybe she’s decided not to stop writing about them; I’m not sure. I haven’t read her regularly in a little while.)
I’ve just got the one Who. And on September 2nd, his first day of kindergarten, that last grain of sand fell and I’ve found myself at somewhat of a loss here. I do still believe in the decision that I made years ago to limit his public blog exposure. And in keeping with that philosophy, if I am going to post a photo of something he’s drawn or of something profound he’s said on Facebook, I generally ask permission. (He always grants it and although I’m sure he’s not 100% aware of what he’s agreeing to, I know he understands that it will be on the internet, on the computer, visible to my friends. He usually seems delighted by that idea and often asks me to post things on his own.)
But the blog is not Facebook. Anyone can read the blog and I’d never know it. I’ve culled my regular-posting list on Facebook down to about 40 people and so the circle within which I am sharing is pretty tight. (I’ve got my fingers in my ears and I’m singing ‘la la la’ to all of you who are thinking the same thing I’m thinking: that Facebook, no matter how tight I think my circle is, is probably just as public as the blog.)
Now, here I am. The mother to an only-child kindergartner, who writes a blog about being a mother and who has committed to pretty much cease writing about her kid. So, what now? I’d like to go back to the days of semi-private blogging, a la LiveJournal, but we all know that ship has sailed. I could password protect every post here and allow myself to get a little more real about myself. I could close up shop entirely and just put all my writing energy into the Great American
Novel Memoir. Or maybe some combination of the three. The only thing I know for sure is that The Who is six years old now. He’s got both feet firmly planted in elementary school now and is starting to build a reputation of his own. He’ll always be my baby, but more and more now, he is his own person and I’ve got to loosen my grip on the ownership of that person and let him become himself without my constant public scrutiny.