Two cheeks to the wind

There is much I want to write about.  But I can’t, because as Zachary gets older, his privacy becomes more and more of a serious issue.  Already, I don’t use my children’s real names around here.  I make a point of never posting photos.  I may be comfortable hanging my ass out in the wind to be viewed by the various and sundry who come along, but I try hard to respect the privacy of my children.

I Googled myself last week and quite a bit came up.  I am, if you must know, highly Googleable.  I have to be if I want anyone to know about my writing.  Now that we live in a small town, I have to be much more cautious about what I say about my family, because we are much easier to find than we were when we lived in Los Angeles.

My family is nuts.  My family of origin, I mean.  And while most of them are the harmless kind of nuts that just hates me but would never hurt my kids, there are a couple with a proven history of hurting kids.  I think my children need to be even less searchable than they already are.

I took their pictures down from Facebook.  I know I can set privacy settings, but that then leaves the job of keeping them safe in the hands of whoever the hell runs Facebook.  How do I know what Facebook really does with my information or when someone will compromise that particular site?

I walk a fine line between needing to be very much out there in public and keeping my kids shielded.  That line is complicated by the fact that I write about my kids, and there are often things I would like to masticate in public that I instead decide to leave alone.  You’ll notice nothing particularly intimate comes up here unless I am the only party involved.  I am willing to tell you all about my failings as a parent or share anecdotes that are more or less generic, but I am cautious when it comes to many, many things.

So, you’ll never truly get to know all there is about my kids by reading my work.  If you really want to get to know me, keep reading, because that’s my ass you see waving around.

(Or, come to BlogHer, because I just registered for the conference.  Um, y’all will talk to me there, right?  Because I’m a little nervous, and I don’t own any fancy shoes.)

17 responses to “Two cheeks to the wind

  1. I am the same way. On my previous blog and the first month or two with this one, I posted pictures and real names. But being Googlable got me in trouble last time and I won’t let that happen this time. My girls were a lot younger then and I lived in Los Angeles too.

    I figure, you are either reading me, because my words can paint a picture for you, or you can always hit the red X at the top of the page. No one needs to see my kids pictures to know about me.

    I’d love to of met you, but I’m not going to be able to go to BH10. :(

  2. She Started It

    A few years back, I started a new blog, and took down the old one. The new one doesn’t use their names, and I’ve never posted their pictures online or on Facebook. It’s hard, though, because some times I just REALLY want to talk about them. But the more time that passes, the more I wish I could just erase their total existances online.

  3. This is why I will probably never blog, I have so many stories to tell, but I cannot wrap my mind around how I might of felt if my parents documented my childhood online…. its a tightrope walk for sure!

  4. I’m getting more and more antsy about this, too…

    P.S. I wish my ass was as small as yours, dammit.

  5. It is a tough, fine line, especially when you want your work “out there” and want more readers/clients. Guess this means more posts about Lucy the Strumpet’s escapades … and I’m totally OK with that. =>

  6. I am so happy I stumbled upon your site. It is wonderful! I respect your need to keep your kids identities private. I believe that if you write with your heart people see who you truly are without the need to put a physical face or name to it.

  7. I so understand this (and this is why we are friends, I think). Now we too are in a small town, and hubby is a professional who could easily be impacted by things I may rant about. Plus, the whole issue surrounding the children. I don’t have the same family history to deal with, but totally get how it impacts you.

    And yet I have made such wonderful friends online, and I so wish there were things I could write about and get advice. It is hard.

  8. Oh, and how can one really honestly blog about motherhood without exposing the gritty parts about our children? (I’m talking about my conundrum, not yours) There are struggles lately that I wish I could write about, but it is just a bit too risky. And I’m too tired to start another more anonymous blog — who would read it?

    I want to go to BlogHer, it would be great to see you. Will have to start nudging the husband.

  9. I’ll talk to you at BlogHer, but I hope to meet you before that.

  10. Hells yes I’m going to BlogHer.

  11. And I can’t wait to meet you there.

  12. WOMAN, lol, you’re going to BlogHer?!? Good luck! :)

  13. My daughters are fortunate that when they were babies (80s), we had to go through dial-up modem hell to get anywhere near the internet. Photos? No way.

    It is hard to figure where to draw the line between parenting stories and our childrens’ privacy. My kids were 16 and 19 when I started blogging and I have made my own mistakes.

    My older daughter is now a very well adjusted 25-year-old and, at this point, kind of likes occasional post stories about her childhood and (particularly) old pictures. I am still careful.

    It bothers me when friends and relatives post about their childrens’ job or grad school applications. Those kids are forging their own future and need to be able to do that without everyone on earth reading about it. What if they are not accepted? Sigh.

    Long, rambling comment but I agree that you should be careful.

  14. I so wish I could come to BlogHer, but it’s not to be for me this year. I would TOTALLY talk to you, and while I own a few fancy shoes I never wear them because they are just way too uncomfortable.

    As for privacy, you have to do what you feel comfortable with. I am less cautious than you are, but I don’t have your history. I am not afraid of faceless internet strangers, but insane family members are another story. For what it’s worth, I think you do a good job of walking that line.

  15. And that’s why I stopped writing about my kids and started writing exclusively about our family’s bike adventures…

    Of course, now, I am completely curious about what’s happening with your oldest since, as we’ve communicated, one of my guys seems quite similar many fronts. He’s got stuff going on here, too, but not to be blogged about. And, no, too bad we can’t share a bottle of wine and chat about it at BlogHer (not in my plans).

  16. If I go to blogger (good chance) I will totally talk to you and lend you my fancy shoes.

    (random aside: blogging from an iPhone has its limitations, hence spotty narcissistic commenting)