In a typical hipster-parent offering, an edgy novelist, musician or feminist sex writer has a baby--Me! Who'd'a thunk it!--and wrestles to reconcile his or her sensibility with the numbing demands of the cradle. For blogger Rebecca Woolf, that moment came when her baby barfed on the Moby section at an indie record store. Mom's response: "I call that punk rock!"
The forementioned "moment" was taken from my very first GGC post, Baby Bjorn to Rock. Someone's been surfin' the archives, eh?
It wasn't that I found the piece offensive. Beyond the popular "hipster-parents are selfish loonies" psychobabble, I found the piece to be thought-provoking. The words of a man skeptical of bloggers, like me, who put our children out there.
I am aware that I write about my child pretty frequently. And without his permission. For now.
Indeed there is the possibility that Archer will resent me for publishing part of his story and mine. And maybe he'll be embarrassed of me. He'll wish that I changed our names and blurred our faces in photos.
I don't have anything to hide but what if he does?
And he might hate that I've made his life an open book as I have my own. And he will be the most private person in history. And I will feel terrible.
I am aware that that is a possibility. So why do you do it? Because I'm a writer. Because I write about, among many other things, my life. And my child happens to be a big part of that.
Because I think people want to read about what is real. I think people can relate to honesty. And truth. And stories that extend beyond the typical "today I went to the grocery store and bought bananas" blogging. I like to think that just as it's helpful for me to write about my life as a parent, it is also helpful to others to read about it. And I think that's cool.
Before starting this blog, I knew no other parents. I had no one to talk to about parenting or having a baby, besides my mother. And I found that here. And it was nice. (Because the only local person my age who was having babies was Britney Spears.)
It didn't matter how old I was. No one cared. And it still doesn't matter. I don't think. I know the article had nothing to do with age. But it has to do with lifestyle. I grew up with email. And reality TV. And Internet dating. I instant message my friends instead of calling them on the phone. I work as a virtual chat host by day. I have never in my life used a typewriter. I am not a "modern parent." I'm just twenty-five years old. And sometimes I act my age. I feel more comfortable writing about my life than talking about it over lunch with the girls. Or anyone else.
And so... To tell the truth or to hide it? Maybe it will come back to bite me in the ass... All of these words written about parenting, about Archer. My family life. Maybe exposing myself through scratched windows is a terrible thing. And I am hurting my family because of it. I hear the skeptics. I have read some of your comments. Your emails. Time Magazine.
But I don't think so. I really don't.
The Internet has enabled us to share our diaries. A dangerous thing. How dangerous? I don't think we can answer that yet. It's too early. I do think that even more dangerous is a world where we are told how and why we should parent, think, feel, and write. And where we are to draw the lines.
It's going to take time. For Archer to grow up and tell me off for putting our lives on display. Or maybe he won't care. Or maybe it won't even matter, because by then we will all have gone public with our lives. We will all be on myspace and youtube, yourspace and mytube, starring in reality TV, publishing web zines.
All I can do is be open and honest, and crack a joke once in a while to keep from going insane. Because although parenting should be taken seriously, we, as parents need to lighten up.
And yes, for the record, Archer did throw up on the Moby discs, and it was embarrassing. But I don't like Moby. He bothers me. So I did think it was kind of "punk rock."
And if that makes me whatever it makes me, okay then. Fine. I'm collecting labels at the door. But it doesn't change the fact that I'm going to keep blogging. And being honest. And having fun with it.
For now, all I can do is hope that, one day, when Archer's old enough he will understand why I started this blog and why I wrote the book and why I write about my life and our family.
And if he doesn't? Then I am open to any and all criticism:
And only from him.