Sunday, February 2, 2014


I am never going to be a mommy blogger.  The gendered nature of the term and my lifelong existence as a heterosexual man preclude it.  But I might well end up being a dad blogger (and I am forced to wonder at the much more prevalent incidence of the diminutive ending on the "mommy blog" than on the "dad blog" that a simple Google search shows).  I am not exactly a stranger to discussing my life online, and my child is already taking up a fair part of my thoughts despite not yet being born.  And this puts me into something of a quandary.

The problem is this: How much of my child's early and later life is it appropriate for me to discuss with the online world?  (I am not even sure how to frame the rest of the discussion, the issue is so fraught for me.)  I fear that if I reveal too much, I will negatively impact the child's future opportunities--for it is known that once a thing is online, it is always available online.  No amount of politely worded requests to stop the spread of online data or threats of punitive action contains the information, and there is always the chance that childhood peccadilloes can result in adult embarrassment and shame.  At the same time, the connection to others that the online environment facilitates can lead to the dissemination of helpful techniques and methods as well as offering sources of support for parents (to the benefit of the children).  And, although perhaps petty, I have the worry that my child would look for my words and, finding none, claim a lack of love on my part (for is it not among the socially-approved if not socially-mandated ways to demonstrate love for something or someone the online discussion thereof?).

My inclination is to limit discussion, to err (if I am to err) on the side of caution and say too little rather than too much.  (An adage attributed to Twain about revealing foolishness comes to mind.)  Those who really need to know about the child will know, because they will ask the parents directly (and will likely be on call for babysitting services); those who do not may still ask, but there is a difference between true interest in the child and polite attention to the parents as people, with questions about the demonstrated interests thereof serving as acknowledgment of shared humanity and worthiness of attention.  (So do not think the fact that I recognize the questions as expressions of politeness means I do not want to field them.  I appreciate people being polite to me.)  And I will doubtlessly still discuss the child online; I already love the little one, and I am not exactly reluctant to discuss what I love, online and off (nor do I think I am to be faulted therefore).

One other thing, so as to be sure about this: Kid, if you are actually looking for what your dad says about you, what it is is that he loves you very much.  Just so you know.

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