Baby Grows Up
When Anna was born (almost 20 years ago!), I was one of those mothers. She was born 9 days before Christmas. I treated her like she was the most fragile, vulnerable baby who had ever been born. I didn’t go to any of our family gatherings. I didn’t take her out into public, or to church, or anywhere there would be a large crowd. I stayed at my sister’s apartment alone with her while the rest of my family (aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids) gathered at my parents’ house. I was content to live in my little bubble, just me and her, because it was a place I felt like I could keep the two of us safe. My marriage was in shambles at the time, so I embraced security in any form I could find it.
Today you go out and see parents with their 3 day old baby eating in restaurants, shopping in malls, taking in ball games. Times have changed. Things have changed.
I gave birth to this blog in December of 2005. At the time I wrote my first post, I had no idea that anybody out there would actually read it. Still, it was my baby and I was protective. Preacher Mom was my name. All my children had pseudonyms. I did not reveal my town, or my state, or my denomination. (I wasn’t all that smooth. I was quickly identified by a fellow Presbyterian within a month because I slipped and used Presby-speak by accident.)
Most of my new blog pals also blogged under pseudonyms. We eventually got to know each other, usually through personal emails where our personal information could be kept private. Through the years, the anonymity began to fade away. With the addition of Facebook and Twitter to our social media lives, we learned more and more about one another until there was very little remaining behind the veil of anonymity. Even so, I persisted in hiding certain details, like my children’s names and the city where we live.
A lot of life has happened since the birth of this blog. That baby I talked about a minute ago is finishing up her freshman year in college. She’s grown up and I’ve had to learn to let her be the young adult she has become. Things have changed.
It’s time for this blog to grow up, too. It’s almost impossible to maintain true anonymity online these days. I’m tired of talking about my children by names that don’t even suit their personalities. I’m proud of the city where I live. Of course I won’t overshare. That would be stupid. I may not give complete information, but I will use real details. (Who am I kidding? Most of the details have slipped unintentionally through the cracks of various posts anyway!)
Being more transparent does mean using discretion in choosing what I share in this forum. I’ve spent the past month re-reading all my posts since the beginning of the blog. I am sometimes shocked with myself at what things I did share. I’ll try to be a little more careful and a little wiser.
I’m excited about this new phase of my blog. I do hope you’ll join me on this next stage of my journey.
Preacher Mom, um, I mean Jan