My Children Don’t Read My Blog

My children don’t read my blog. Once upon a time, perhaps about a decade ago, one of them would occasionally weigh in with a funny comment, but overall it is apparent they have little interest. I’m pretty sure they rarely, if ever, check in. They are not followers and they don’t subscribe, even though they have said multiple times “Oh yeah, I should do that”. When I asked them why they don’t read it, I was told “We talk to you so often so we already know all these stories” This is true, and yet I have mixed feelings about this. Perhaps I am already transparent enough when I speak to them (quite frequently), which transcends sharing my thought processes, trials and tribulations in writing, making it all redundant. Perhaps I am just an “old person” whose opinions and experiences they don’t relate to, not pertinent to their lives or their generation. Or the writing just isn’t grabbing them. Or, well, it’s Mom, you know…..

I’m not exactly hurt by this, although I will say their disinterest it is a little disappointing. Once upon a time I was them, in a similar situation with my own mother, who was a talented, yet insecure artist. Many moons ago she arrived for a visit and brought along her portfolio to share. I can remember both her excitement and shyness, as she tentatively lifted each piece of work in pastel, charcoal, pencil or oil and laid them out on the bed, her face hopefully searching mine, seeking opinion and approval. It was a lovely portfolio of work. I admired each one, but in retrospect, I realize I should have discussed them more with her; perhaps I did not gush enough (much of it was certainly gush-worthy), did not process the pieces with her enough. Too late did I realize she really did want and respect my opinion. That she actually needed to hear a little bit more from me, and she deserved to. Only after her passing, when we actually were gathering and sorting her possessions and portfolios filled with her work, did I realize some of the beauty I had in my hands, and how much I wish I had talked to her more about it.

one of my mom’s pastels

In addition to her paintings and sketches, there was a volume of writing (journals, poems) which she methodically put through the shredder when she realized she had a terminal illness. There were only a few pages left behind; thoughtful snippets of wishes and joys, which showed a small glimpse of her feelings and soul within. I can understand why she probably destroyed her diaries, which, no doubt, contained some deeply personal and painful times. Probably some of it might have been hurtful and not very nice – not something she would have wanted to leave behind. I’ve run some of my own darkest writings into the shredder myself. It’s understandable, and yet in some way I wish I had known those other deep parts of her too, in her own words… other facets of her, the woman that went beyond my view of her as “Mommy, Mom, Ma”.

Looking at social media lately feels pretty much like reading the daily obituaries. As one of my friends said, people our age are “in the zone”, which is a rather sobering reality. Day after day it seems there is yet another former classmate, a friend, a coworker, a past relationship, an old connection, or one of the many famous musicians, artists, writers and actors who lit up and inspired our generation. Some of us might keep going for a long while, but essentially people of my age are heading into our Winter. It can be a very long winter, so I’m not trying to sound too somber as much as just realistic – we are at that place on The Wheel.

My mother saved our artwork, our report cards, our essays and book reports. I have mostly done the same for my own children and see my daughters are doing the same for their own kids too. It doesn’t flow as often in reverse, which I suppose is the nature of things. Given my own regrets and sadness over a lapsed moment of opportunity to further connect and appreciate my own mother, it is my wish that my children will not ever feel that similar level of sorrow. Of course, perhaps I am just projecting and they would not experience the same sentiments anyway. You can’t expect people to respond or feel a certain way just because you do, and you can’t shield your children from so many of the unexpected and sometimes painful realities of life. The “what-ifs” and “if-I-had-onlies” that occur might not be the same “I-wish-I-hads” for them.

By the way, in case you are wondering, this is not intended to be a “guilt post” of artful manipulation. It has actually been sitting in my draft file since 2016 and I happened to pull it up today and thought to complete it, as it still stands as it did then. Chances are they won’t see it, and if they do, we talk so frequently and so honestly that they are correct in saying there is nothing stated here that they have not heard in person. All said, I am glad that my sister has started to compile and print up some of these writings that will someday be left for my daughters, which – if they chose to – will enable them to someday sit down with the books, get a few laughs and hear some stories in their mother’s voice long after this blog is gone and deleted. As for the journals that are stashed around the house that will never make it onto this page….well, I will have to think about those.


This entry was posted in Aging, kids, Perspective, Regrets, Uncategorized, Winter and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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