For years I’ve watched as other bloggers grapple with the issue of their children’s privacy in the blogosphere, always with valid and understandable reason. At its inception, my blog was intended for the eyes of my personal friends and family, and I wasn’t going to be writing things about my inner life that would require privacy. It never occurred to me in a million years that someone I didn’t know might find it and read it. Furthermore, although I know many people do, I have no concerns about pictures of my kids being on the Internet. So it was a no-brainer to use my kids’ real names and post photos of them. At this point there’s no going back, even if I wanted to.
But as Baxter’s 9th (!) birthday approaches next month, I am acknowledging a shift that I started to make unconsciously last summer, and that is to pull back on what I share about his life. I have no doubt there will be stories and photos and God knows what else going on here that relates to him, but I will be leaving the hard stuff – the struggles – out. He’ll have his tough times, but I won’t be discussing them here unless I am able to judge with confidence that it wouldn’t be embarrassing to him to have it shared, and some useful parenting lesson lies within the story. He is old enough now to tell his own stories, and in fact is writing stories from his personal history for school these days, and so I hand that job over to him. And he’s an excellent writer, let me tell you. Maybe I can talk him into starting his own blog.
And so The Wonderwheel may seem a bit Lyle-heavy at times (maybe it already has, as I started this practice a few months ago quite naturally), or perhaps it will seem as if my older child is heading into the tween years without a care in the world. Should this bother anyone (including Baxter someday as he reads this), I remind you that I started blogging four years ago because of Baxter and that he has his very own blog all about him, my first blog Baxtergarten, still out there on the Internet for all and sundry to enjoy.