I first started blogging about my dating life as the single mom of a toddler for Literary Mama. Way back in 2003. I knew someday my daughter — who spun around me in her tutu as I typed — would become a teenager. But that day seemed so far away.
Which explains why I wrote about my life so openly. The nights when I felt like I had no one to turn to, you, my readers, showed up, listened, and left comments.
Deep into single motherhood by then, I knew I could do this alone. But I didn’t want to. Underneath my self-deprecating jokes, and I-had-another-horrible-date grumbles, I wanted to be with a man who’d say “I’m here” for the rest of my life.
A year after my book came out, I squeezed myself into a tiny chair for my daughter’s second grade parent-teacher conference. By now, I was used to showing up at school events by myself by now. But as much as I patted myself on the back for raising my daughter solo, I still longed for a partner.
As my daughter’s teacher told me what a creative, sweet child she was – the teacher actually used the words, “I love her” – I wanted to glance over at him. Whoever he might have been, and watch his face beam with a that’s-our-girl smile. Instead, I thanked my daughter’s teacher, walked home, and logged online.
Blogging for me had turned into that comfortable chair in which I cuddled up at the end of the day, the place where I could vent. That night, I blogged about going to the parent-teacher conference alone, and you, my readers, thankfully, were that “someone.”
Around this time, when I picked my third grader after school, she was scowling. I figured she was hungry, but a bowl of macaroni and cheese didn’t change her mood.
“I’m listening if you want to talk about it,” I told her.
“If I tell you,” she barked back, “you can’t blog about it.”
I bit my bottom lip. The day was here: she didn’t want me to write about her anymore.
Fortunately, I’d met that “someone. I married Chris (yep, that’s his real name) in 2010, after he’d asked if he could join our family. I longed to tell you about the challenges of joys of blending our family – but that’s challenging to do when you’ve got to leave out one of the main characters.
When I got pregnant this year, a girlfriend asked me, “You’re going to have another baby so you can blog again, aren’t you?”
I laughed. But she had a point. Do we, as writers, have a right to record our children’s lives when they’re little? But at what point do our kids’ stories become their own?
In April, after giving birth to a second daughter in April, I told you: “It’s a girl!”
But I haven’t blogged much about my new baby. Because I’m still trying to figure out how much to share about our new addition. For now, most of my thoughts and feelings live offline. And for now, that feels right.
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