I want 2015 to be my year of blogging joyfully. I want to bring more light to the world, especially in my little niche of being Byzantine Catholic, other-schooling, trying to be a better wife & mother, working on being healthier and simpler.
I didn't want to start out the year with a response to a mega-blogger's latest post. Some readers might remember the last time I did that- with Fr Barron's blog Word on Fire.
Skimming the blog enjoying the small things, I was disappointed to read this response of the mommy & special needs blogger Kelle Hampton when her husband called her "middle-aged" after she celebrated her 36th birthday-
“You know,” I told him, “just so you know, I’m fine with the term 'middle age'. Everyone knows the middle’s where it’s at. The cream in Oreo cookies, the meat in a burger, and—oh hey, look! I found another great middle for you.” I raised my right hand and pulled the four outer fingers down so the middle one had the stage for its sun salutation. " (Kelle Hampton- enjoying the small things- Dec 31, 2014)
So this wife and mother of three- a blogger whose focus is on 'enjoying the small things'- (her children who have the starring role in stories and photos on the blog and Instagram) is loud and proud about giving her husband the middle finger when he says something she does not like. She does not seem embarrassed or sorry for treating the father of her three children this way. I believe she would say that she is being authentic. The rest of the post is a reflection on writing our stories- whether tragic or quotidian.
Must we revel in our marital squabbles in order to be authentic? Do we need to expose our children to strangers knowing every 'small thing' about them and daily photo sessions, smiles coerced with blowing air in their faces and tickles?
I think the question of balancing authenticity and privacy will be the next thing we bloggers need to face. It is much like the exercises on Facebook and Twitter that teachers use- showing their young students how far and fast a photo or tweet can go. If privacy and dignity on-line are important for middle-schoolers, isn't it also vital for our marriages and minor children that we protect them from strangers knowing all the 'small things'- good and bad?
So, this blog will have to remain 'unauthentic.' I share a bit, but not a lot. I don't remember ever posting an argument. We have our struggles, but we also have a private life. Photos of the children are pretty rare here. If you met us in real life, we would have new things to share because you would not know all the small things every day. I am authentic in that I don't lie, but sometimes I have to change details to 'protect the innocent.' But usually I don't post it. As Anne of Green Gables protested- "if you only knew how many things I want to say and don't." Perhaps that quotation from Anne should be everyone's inspiration for 2015. Let's spread light when we can.