Friday, September 03, 2010

For the record, he does not care for it

I'm finding it harder and harder to write about Joseph these days.  He's an amazing, talented, smart, funny, creative, energetic, enthusiastic, occasionally difficult child and I want to tell the whole world how weird, wild and wonderful he is but I'm holding back.  The older he gets the more it feels like I'm revealing too much when I write about him.

It was easy when he was little.  I could say whatever I wanted about him and it was just me, telling cute, funny stories about my cute, funny kid.  Now when I want to talk about him I start to wonder if I'm invading his privacy.  He's ten years old now.  Those cute, funny stories that used to be mine to tell as I pleased are now becoming his stories.  More and more often when I want to talk about him I ask myself "Would he want you to share this?" and more and more often the answer is no.

There's other stuff too.  Sometimes I want to vent or work through a particularly difficult episode but I worry about what people might think.  For example, last night Joseph had a really big, bad melt-down and I would like to talk about it and get ideas and support but something is holding me back.  I worry that people will read it and think that I'm a bad parent.  That I did something that caused that behavior or that I didn't do something that could have prevented it.

Even worse, I'm worried that people will read it and think something bad about Joseph.  Maybe people will read it and think he's a bad kid or that he's a spoiled brat or that he's somehow less awesome that he actually is.  I can't let that happen.  Joseph is a great kid.  The people who know him know that.  I can't let people who don't know him think badly of him.

I've had this blog for five years and before that I had another that I started when Joseph was just a tiny baby.  I've spent most of his life documenting every milestone, achievement, setback and one-liner.  It's hard to accept that I have to stop that now.  The best parenting tool I have at my disposal is my intuition and right now it's telling me to ease up, to let Joseph struggle and thrive and grow and succeed without me blogging every little thing.

That doesn't mean I'll never talk about him again!  He's a hilarious little boy and his quips and quirks alone could fill a blog. For example: The other night I made soup.  (For all the progress Joseph has made with food issues soup remains one of his, oh, let's just say less than favorite foods.)   My parents dropped Joseph off after taking him to his horse back riding lesson and he was in a great mood when he walked in the door.  He chattered happily as he took off his shoes (and shirt), washed his hands and sat down at the table.  He picked up a spoon and was just about to dig into his dinner when he realized what I had set in front of him.  The dreaded soup. He stared down at the bowl for a moment and then put his head up and looked me dead in the eye. 

"Mommy" he said, his voice a mixture of anger and disappointment. "I believe I've already made my feelings on soup very clear to you."

And then Jesse and I laughed and laughed and laughed because it might have been a teeny bit rude and sassy but it was also mostly funny.


susan said...

And now I'm laughing. I'll take sassy and hilarious over whiny any day.

Lindsay said...

Meltdowns are okay. Respecting privacy is okay too.

You could have another baby you know, just for some blog fodder.

Donna said...

My oldest is 10, too, and sometimes I feel badly for talking so much about the other kids and not mentioning him, but you're right - there are too many ways to give people the wrong impression. And by now, I feel like it isn't my decision what to share about him, anyway. So I mostly leave him out. But if he happens to say something as funny as your son's soup comment, I will absolutely include that. Because that? Was funny.

Stimey said...

I totally get this. I write less about my kids now too. I definitely write about them differently. I'm still figuring out the boundaries and probably err too far on the loose lips side, but I'm getting there. :)

I know what you mean about worrying that others will think your guy is a bad kid. Like, sometimes, I get so frustrated with Jack and I love him more than anyone. It's so hard to remember sometimes that these issues stem directly from a disability, not bad parenting or a bad kid. Do other people, who don't love him like that think he's rotten? I don't know.

What I DO know is that from everything I've heard about Joseph, I think he's pretty awesome.

I suggest, perhaps not another child, but some mice as pets? Mayhap a gerbil?

Anonymous said...

Joseph is totally awesome, no matter what. I have been a witness to one of his melt downs, and yes it wasn't pretty, but I also remember him standing on the stairs and telling me that he felt bad about it. Some times, things just happen.... the most important thing is to just work through it and move on.... and Joseph is capable of doing that....and the rest of us need to follow his example...Focus on the good things and diminish the not so good...... and I loved his comment on the soup... His dislike of soup might be that he can't always figure out exactly what is in there!! Joseph is fabulous....ROCK ON!!

Grandma Judy...

Barbara said...

I really want to blog about my daughter, I want to share her milestones and pictures. She's 4 months old and I'm struggling with the privacy issue that I know will come up later. I don't even share much on FB for the same reason. I've started writing monthly letters to her instead, I get everything out and it's private. Maybe you could do that for Joseph, I'm sure you'll both treasure the memories later.