At the dinner table the other night my youngest children began to tell me about how they were looking for images to use as their school email avatar. Realizing how quickly my children have advanced in this age of technology, I was proud and amused at the same time. Until they mentioned how they wanted a particular picture and the method in which they obtained the image online. I Googled Mom, they said.
Part of me was in horror as to what they may find online about me, not necessarily about myself, but about what I had written of them through this blog. When I began writing on my blog 12 years ago, the genesis of the adventure was to share my journey through twin pregnancy, juggling motherhood with a toddler, and the encapsulating experience of our life as a family. The adventure evolved as I shared my daily experiences, my struggles, my comedic relief, my sadness, my joy, but the experience was inspired by my children.
As with any evolution of self and the grand aging process, much reflection was about my children’s evolution and aging. An aging into the digital lifestyle many of us hold today. So my writing waned as I felt they needed to have a say as to what was shared, if the details were shared, if I shared their names in entirety or partiality, or if I shared anything at all. Writing became less fortuitous and felt more obligatory, burdensome, dare I say the act felt self loathing, as I questioned whether my words would resonate once again with my audience. More so now when my children told me, “I Googled Mom.”
Part of me still cringes when my children say “I Googled Mom” only because I know I am not perfect. Brash, raw, abrasive, bold, even at times immature in my actions; blogging was such a tonic of relief when I first began sharing my view of motherhood to a toddler and twins. The experience was youthful and freeing without a care of what anyone truly thought of my parenting style or choices. However, with my children, I feel some of those styles, choices and experiences should only introduced at the appropriate times.
“I Googled Mom,” as I pine through my thoughts, seeing their smiling faces as the words pass over their lips, their innocence of seeking an image of their beloved pug to use as a school avatar. How easily three words felt like the weight of the world. Like luggage, the burden of my happenstances; would that be too heavy for them to carry if presented too early? The Chad and I have always discussed what would happen if they read my writings, my words, my emotions shared outwardly and publicly, seemingly with no regard. Feeling truly blessed to know what I have shared is no secret, is devoid of shame and public ridicule and is a reflection of who I am as I have developed as my own person through the affair of motherhood and life.
Yet I know in my heart they are of an age, advancing maturity and discerning knowledge, that what I have said, shared, or expressed would espouse their growth into adulthood. Life is not pretty, or easy. Our human experience is not without some level of heartache, damnation, joy and everlasting happiness. These experiences mold our beliefs, our understandings, and our openness to change.
My horrors of “I Googled Mom” have been, in part, replaced with some delight. Finding my former YouTube channel where I shared life with the kids when they were just little babes, they enjoy watching how I passed my time with them. Finding my blog, they see how I have shared about our life, our travels, their time growing up, as seen through my eyes. My fears have been cast aside when I hear my kids share their pride about their mom’s writings, her YouTube channel (that hasn’t been used in years), I hear how cool it is to be mom in their eyes.