Sunday, January 04, 2009

Boundaries

You may have noticed that I don't write about BubTar all that often anymore. He's getting older and wiser and a bit more private, and I feel less and less comfortable publicizing his life without permission. This was never something I gave much thought to when I began blogging, but as he's grown into his own little person over the course of the last year, I've found that I'm not as comfortable cherry-picking his life for blog fodder. He's a bit shy (many times when we are with a group of people, he uses me as a mouth piece, whispering into my ear to have me relay messages to other people) and I don't know how he would feel about the publicity.

Recently, I was looking something up on my blog (I do this more often than you might think, it is a pretty detailed record!) and he walked over to me and said, "Hey! Is that a picture of ME on that website? Is that KayTar? What is that? Is that a BLOG? Is it YOUR blog? Do you have a BLOG, Mom? Lemme see that!"

I said, "BubTar, please don't read over my shoulder. Go on now. Go play." (Smooth, no? He'll never suspect a thing!)

I don't want to have The Blog Conversation with him, because my blog is SECRET. He spends a lot of time with various family members and "MY MOM HAS A BLOG!" is pretty hot news to an internet-savvy six year old. So I'd prefer to avoid the topic for as long as possible.

However, if he is old enough to know what a blog is and recognize his role in one, then he's old enough to have some say in what I do and do not share about him in this space, but as I'm not ready to discuss it with him, I'd prefer to err on the side of safety and respect his privacy. He'll still be appearing in plenty of photos and occasional posts, but on a more discretionary basis, I suppose. I try to respect Josh's privacy in the same way, but as all of our stories are so interconnected, occasionally there is overlap.

In case you've been wondering where my handsome, intelligent, funny son has been hiding, there you have it. He's still every bit as handsome, intelligent, and funny...he's just a little older and a bit more deserving of his own privacy these days.

18 comments:

Bon said...

i love his curious little face, which seems to possess a deep, quiet pool of wisdom and irony in there somewhere.

but - much as i live in an utterly wired house - it hadn't occurred to me that six (seven?) year olds would recognize a blog on sight? wow. i suppose they would. literacies, how they're a changin'.

and privacy? he deserves it, just as you do from his potential "sharing" with family & friends.

Mad said...

Yes. I get this. My blog has become more about me and less about she as well. It's the way it goes, I suppose. It never would have dawned on me though that M would figure out what a blog was at such an early age.

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

My son (now 7) knows I have a blog and I am so afraid he will tell someone that I don't want to know about it. Also, I am concerned he will read it himself and be very angry. When he is older, he will understand but I don't expect that to be the case until he's like, 25, or something.

How do we balance telling our lives & sharing useful information (as my son is the one w/ special needs), with protecting privacy? Is one of the conversations I could have endlessly!

ewe are here said...

Ahhh, the computer-savvy-ness seems to start earlier and earlier these days, what with everyone being wired up and all everywhere.

I've started to think about these things re Ramekin, even though he's only 3 1/2 right now... the fear that he might say 'blog' to a family member is already there, so i try not to say it.

~aj~ said...

You are so wise, Kyla. I've often thought about what I will continue to share about my boys as they grow older. Obviously my blog is no secret from our family/friends, but I'm sure there will come a time when Adam won't want me sharing his "Diarrhea Cha Cha Cha" song with the world.

Great pic of BubTar by the way. :)

Janet said...

I really get this. My older kids are mostly absent from my blog now. They still don't know about it. I don't want them to read it yet, not for many years. I realize that means that I may have to turn out the lights. Then what? I guess I can always blog about my cracked heels. Or something.

tierd said...

I've wondered about this same thing and often hesitate to post things with privacy in mind. Although I am sure Mark would say I post entirely too much as it is.

He's such a cutie - and such a sweet boy, too. Even though I've never met your kids, I can tell they both have the kindest hearts and spirits.

jeanie said...

Ahh - the upside of having EVERYONE know about your blog.

Why not have a rarely updated boring blog where the family know you, and it saves the "secrets" problem?

I understand what you are saying about boundaries, though.

flutter said...

he really is a wise little soul. You are too, mama and I really respect your want to keep his privacy

Chaotic Joy said...

I have been wondering, but boy do I get it. It makes me sad to leave my older two out, but their life is their own. Once the Weekids have moved to this stage I think I may have to shut my doors, because goodness knows I am not interesting enough to sustain it on my own. :)

Jerri Ann said...

I wonder how old my kids will be when they decide that I gotta stop with the antics.....How old is he Bubtar now?

Right now all they know is "mommy works on the computer so we can go to the beach" because any money I make online, ad revenue or ad writing we call "free money" and we use it for vacations and weekend entertainment...so I wonder when they will start to ask questions too

Aliki2006 said...

All of that was mostly why I closed up shop on my other blog. I used to think that way about L. primarily, but then I had a revelation of sorts that ALL kids deserve privacy, even my T. who is only four. Once I wrestled with that, it became more and more difficult to write about them!

Well said...

alejna said...

Wow. It amazes me that he can recognize a blog. (I may well have plenty of friends who wouldn't know a blog if it came up and bit them. Happily blogs don't usually come up and bite them.) I wonder if he's going to try to google it.

Good for you for respecting BubTar's privacy and personhood. That seems like a sound parenting decision to me.

Sophie said...

I remember when Sophie discovered her blog! I've often thought about puting a password on her blog as she gets older. At her insistence I set her up her own blog which she loves to write. Her favourite thing is to moderate comments!

painted maypole said...

i really try to not have the blog up when MQ is around, although I don't think she knows what a blog is... even still.

carrie said...

I completely get it. I had to make peace with this same issue and to this day, all the kids know what the blog is, and what part of it they play. I will not post anything that I feel would embarrass them (too much) down the line and even when it's a hilarious photo of the older 2, which is rare (like my middle schooler in his sister's Cinderella outfit) I get their permission.

I'm hoping this will avoid any future therapy bills. :)

Woman in a Window said...

I'm becoming a little wary about what I write, too. This saddens me in part. My kids know I write a blog. It all gets muddled up at times, what I can write, what I shouldn't, and yet be honest with writing. Troubling. You've got it sorted though although I greedily at times would gobble up anything that you wrote of him.

No Mother Earth said...

I totally respect your boundaries, so I will say this while I still can...

My, but he's handsome!