An awful lot of things, it turns out, I don’t write about. At least not here.
I try not to post or write about anything that I think Alden would be embarassed to read in ten years. As he grows and my understanding of him grows I bet my understanding of what might be embarassing will change, too. Maybe I won’t write about him at all someday.
Even when I do write about Alden I am generally really writing about me… about being a mom. Being proud, frustrated, thinking things over. In practice that means I try not to patronize or belittle or simplify who he is, in my writing. And I don’t tell stories I wasn’t there to see. But I’m not trying to tell Alden’s stories, because…I can’t do that. They’re his.
I don’t write here a lot about Josh, for a lot of the same reasons. Josh is a really private person in a lot of ways, and although I guess I could imagine writing about being a wife the same way as I do about being a mom…because god knows I think things over, feel every color of the emotional spectrum, and learn, grow, and struggle as a wife (just like I do as a mother)…. but I don’t. Write about that stuff here.
I don’t write about friends, much. I write very little about my growing-up family.
I don’t write about struggles or successes at work, or about the teachers and child care providers I teach and work with. I don’t write about my bandmates or my neighbors or Alden’s school experiences.
I am writing all this down because I was thinking about it on my walk today (Ah, yes, you were guessing there was maybe a walk in there?) I was thinking, as I was walking, about things to write about and I was shelving five ideas for every one I thought I could do. “And, maybe that’s a dumb thing to do,” thought me, huff, puff, tromp, tromp, “Maybe I would be a better writer if I said the hell with it, and wrote about way more aspects of my life, explored them, found connective thematic tissue and wove a more raw and multi-lensed narrative of life, and love, and everything. Write, as sugar says, like a motherfucker.”
After all, if I don’t write about my job, my friends, my family, my neighbors, my bandmates, what’s left? Because it sure ain’t gonna work to write about what I wore today or the crafts I do (because I, um, don’t. do crafts.)
But I don’t think, actually, that writing like a motherfucker means writing about everything– it means writing WITH everything.
My favorite posts have been very, very small things for the most part. Small things that helped me focus, helped me pay attention, showed me myself and my son and my NOW.
This space is somewhere between personal and public. Some posts I write are seen by a handful of people. Others have been seen by a few hundred. That’s such a strange thing to know. And to not know, while writing…