“How old will I need to be before I can read your blog?” she asks me. We’re laying on her bed; she is pajama-ed and snuggled under the covers, I am next to her but on top of the blankets. I stroke her hair and she fiddles with a loose thread on my sleeve.
“I’m not sure,” I respond, slowly. I have to be careful. Right now all I know is that the right age is “not yet.” But if I give her a number, come hell or high water she will march up on her birthday and demand access. I guess I’m hoping this is one of those “I’ll know it when I see it” kinds of things. “Older,” I finally conclude. It feels lame. She affirms my ineptitude by pulling a face.
“I know OLDER,” she says, rolling her eyes. “But how old? You must swear a lot on there, to not want us reading it.” She sounds vaguely envious, and I squelch a chuckle.
“It’s not because I swear,” I tell her, thinking about how she busts out with “OOOOOH! YOU SAID A MODERATELY BAD WORD!” whenever I drop a “damn” or “hell” in her presence. “It’s because… it’s for grown-ups.”
“But it’s about US,” she protests.
“Some,” I agree. “But not entirely.”
Her forehead creases as she considers this; she is clearly imagining what that might mean. Obviously I am beating around the bush, and my blog is a place where I use the word “fuck” with abandon, inbetween stories about her and her brother, and probably while describing sexual positions and telling y’all about that time I did something REALLY REALLY naughty, like wear a shirt that showed my “boob crack.” (Cleavage is not an acceptable word to an 11-year-old, I’ve learned.) I realize I need to nip this sense of “forbidden fruit” in the bud, and now.
“It’s about all sorts of things. It’s about you guys, yes, but it’s also about me. It’s about life. And grown-up life is sometimes about grown-up things, like being worried or wondering about stuff kids don’t need to think about. It’s a story about my life, and I hope that someday when you’re old enough you’ll still want to read it. It’ll tell you about YOU and it’ll tell you about ME and I hope it will show you more about US, as a family. But it’s not time for any of that, yet. Right now you need to be busy just LIVING your life, not reading about it.”
This seems to make sense to her, and she sinks into her pillow a bit.
“Mom,” she says, not meeting my eyes, “Dad thinks you’re happy all the time now, because you’re married again. Is that what you write about? Being happy?”
I chuckle. “Sometimes,” I say. “I don’t know that I’m happy ALL the time. I don’t know if ANYONE is happy ALL the time. I am happy most of the time, and I’m happy being married to Otto, but there’s more to it than that.” She nods, thinking. “And do you know what?” I add, trying to keep my voice very light. “I think that we all make our own happiness. I’m not happy because I’m married; I’m happy because I choose to be happy. I’m happy because I feel very fortunate to have what I do. And Otto and I are happy because we work really hard at it.”
“You do?” She thinks this is a joke she doesn’t get.
“Absolutely! Relationships are hard work. We’re happy BECAUSE we know that and we work at it. I’m sorry Daddy and I couldn’t work things out, but I learned a lot from my relationship with him. Things that have helped me, moving forward, in my relationship with Otto. I’m sure Daddy learned things that will help him someday when he gets married again, too.” She nods a little. “But, see, I write about that stuff sometimes, and that’s kind of boring for a kid, I think.”
She thinks for a minute. “By the time I’m old enough to read your blog, there’s going to be tons and tons of stuff to read. How will I ever read it all? Will it still even be there?”
“It will still be there, and if you want, you can read it all. And if you don’t want to, you can just read the parts that interest you. Maybe you’ll just want to read about YOU. Maybe you’ll want to skip the mushy posts about Otto.” She pretends to gag and I tickle her until she squeals.
“Some of the posts about me are really short,” she says. “Like that time you wrote about me kicking your seat in the car. I could read those pretty fast.” I nod in agreement. “And I bet sometimes you write about when you’re upset with me, too.” She’s peering at my face, gauging my reaction.
“Yep, I do,” I tell her. “All sorts of stuff. That you’ll someday read. I hope you will. And I think you’ll like it.” I sweep her up into a hug. “You are turning into a young woman that most of the time I really, really, really LIKE. And that is awesome! I don’t know how not to write about it. But right now you need to go to sleep.”
She smiles at me. “I think I’ll like reading it,” she says. “Later. When I’m older.”
“Okay, darlin’,” I say. “Time for bed!”
“But WAIT,” she calls, grabbing my wrist as I try to get up off the bed. “This was all very SERIOUS and stuff. I can’t go to sleep after THAT. We need some funny. Hmmm. Let me think. Oh! I know! LOOKIT MY BOOBIES!” She juts out her chest and we collapse on each other in fits of giggles. Because boobs are funny. Obviously.
I think she’ll like it. I hope she does.
How could she not? It’s full of love, for her and Monkey.
For a second, when I started reading this, I thought it was Thursday. :)
It does have a Love Thursday sort of ring to it. : )
But I’m thinking you might want to make the age limit about thirty, because of….the commenters’ posts! Not mine, no…I never type anything naughty. *halo*
She’s eleven, she’s smart, she knows you have a blog, and she’s curious. I’m betting that she’ll be sneaking peeks at it sometime in the next few years. Whether she tells you she’s doing/done it or not is the question…
(And Chickie? FYI, kiddo, “boob crack” sounds WAY more vulgar than “cleavage”. Eeew.)
Boob crack *snort*
Awww! Why wasn’t this a thursday post?! I told Scott a month or two ago that I wanted my blog kept on in perpetuity because it’s a great way for my kids to get to know me, should something happen.
So funny, and I can remember when boobs were hilarious. I think it was yesterday:)
Bri and I cracked up about boobs at BlogHer, which she details here: http://www.unwellness.com/unwellness/2009/07/how-quickly-things-get-weird.html
And yes, the I Love You post was about you. This post here is one of the reasons why. :)
Thank you Chickadee for Boob Crack – that is now the term that I will use. You have probably started a phenomenon.
You are such a great Mama. You navigate those particularly deep waters with a grace I hope to someday emulate.
Also, *boob crack* makes my day. Mostly because, for men, boobs ARE crack.
Boob crack has made my day, and will officially become part of my vocabulary lol
I always wondered what to call that…clevage was so blah to me too. Now, I know. Thanks for that. Also, Chickie and Monkey are so fortunate to have this part of you forever and forever. What a treasure. Happy “almost” Love Thursday.
Since they were in the womb I’ve kept 3 paper diaries journaling the lives of my 3 kids, intending to give it to them when they were “older”. They are 27, 23 and 21 and I’m still not ready.
This had me wondering about the day of the week as well. I loved it. And boobs are funny. ;o)
Boob crack *snort*
I don’t even *know* you, and lookit me!! I’ve been coming back to this here blog and reading it daily for YEARS. She will read it someday and realize that her mama had some amazingly deep love for her and her brother and then she will sigh with contentment. And THEN she will call you and make a boob joke…
Hm, I have great talks with my daughter about life too, she is no longer 11 but 23. She however is NOT interested in my blog and I am very pleased about that. I have just written a post about her and me and she will sooooo not be impressed with me writing about us. They are still very sensitive to privacy at that age or at least mine is. Thanks goodness she somehow knows to stay away from it, phew.
I love how we navigate our relationships with our children through all these different stages.
My daughter, Rachel, is fifteen. I couldn’t keep her off my blog if I wanted to. It definitely keeps us close. Glad to see I’m not the only one who’s blessed with amazing children. Keep up the great writing!
Sigh. You know, I’m not big on the idea of being a mom and I don’t know if I ever will be one but if I ever am, I hope I’m half the mother that you are.
And this is exactly why I don’t blog about sex. ; )
I think you handled that really well, and I’m sure when she finally gets ‘older’ enough, she’ll realize so much more about you, your family, and herself, because that’s what reading someone else’s perspective can do for you.
Perhaps she would prefer “decolletage” (or however it’s spelled). It sounds all classy-like. ;-)
Mir, you’re a good mom.
Don’t you just love those bedtime talks? Very nice, and I’m sure she’ll love your blog when she’s old enough to read it…later.
I was an awful, horrible, disgustingly mean teenager to my parents. If my Mom had written something as wonderful as your blog, in my heart I would have appreciated it, but outwardly it would have thrown me over the edge of despair. My vote is 25, or before she gets married, or best yet, when she’s a new Mom. My kids are 9,6,and 3. My daughter is 6 and already a drama queen. I’m so nervous for the payback of my behavior. PS I turned out OK and have a great relationship with my parents now. So happy they didn’t kick me to the curb!
This is going to be a tough act to follow for us Thursdayphiles.
I’m betting you’re up to it.
No pressure intended.
Awww, I love how you spend time like that with your kids and really talk to them.
Awwwww! I missed reading this yesterday, but somehow – given that today is Love Thursday – it seems to have worked out. :) Your Chickie is very, very, very special…but something tells me you already know that!
Also? Why are there two words to show the distiction between listening and hearing, but not for talking and *really* *talking*? You seem to have mastered the art, whatever we’re meant to call it.
She sounds so wonderful! I love it. And I know she’ll love reading your blog. When she’s older.
I’m thinking that Chickadee is going to love reading your blog right up until she gets to the part where she yells out “boobies.” Then she might cringe a little.
Laughing, and wondering what it would be like…life with another girl in the house. The boys think boobs are funny, too, but it’s not quite the same!
I’m sure she’ll read it sooner than this, but when she’s navigating marriage and motherhood and being an adult in general, how nice it will be to have a record of her mother’s thoughts when she’s going through the same things.
I think it’s a sure bet. She’s a lucky Chickie.
Mmmm. Happy mommy tears. I love these type of moments.
I loved meeting you in Chicago. You are just as lovely in person as you are in this space.
i have a blog on live journal that I never list cause I’ve never worked at it hard enough to make it shareable. But one day, my oldest (25) told me the last post I’d put up was incomplete. She’s on live journal too and searched on a nickname I didn’t even know she knew I had.