“Hey Dad, what the hell is this website we found containing tons of pictures of, and stories about, us? Also, you’re an asshole and we hate you.”—My children, circa some day in the not-too-distant future
When I started blogging almost a decade ago (yes, I’ve been blogging for almost a decade now, which is either very impressive, or very depressing, or, probably, both), my primary influences were a handful of Mommy Bloggers who were writing with equal parts brutal honesty, heartfelt emotion and sharp-tongued humor about the trials and tribulations of raising young children while simultaneously struggling to maintain some semblance of the person they were before they became completely engulfed in the chaos of parenting. It inspired me to do the same, so I went for it — and I loved it.
Raising infants and toddlers was the most difficult experience of my entire life. I do not miss those years, but writing about them was a great way to keep from completely losing my mind … and a great way for me to document some really special times in my children’s lives that they one day will be able to read all about thanks to this blog. When they are older, I believe they will consider this a precious gift. Right now, however, I’m guessing they would be less-than-thrilled by its existence.
I’ve often wondered how I would handle with them the subject of this blog when they were old enough to question its existence and their exposure therein. Somewhat shockingly, they still remain only peripherally aware that I have a blog, and are totally ignorant of its contents. They’ve never seen it, and they’ve never asked about it. They do, however, know that I have a blog … and it is entirely feasible that they’ll either go looking for it themselves, or mention it to a peer who will do so.
During the past nine-plus years, I’ve published almost 700 posts here … hundreds of which contain photos of, and details about, my two amazing
babies children, who now are 12 and 10 years old. No longer are they the bumbling, sometimes comical, sometimes demonic, Muppet-like doofuses I first started writing about way back when; they are people, and they exist outside the bubble within which my wife and I safely kept them during the years when I first began sharing with you my stories about raising them.
I’ve struggled in recent months to reconcile the fact that pictures of the two of them, and details about their lives, have remained available on the Internet without their knowledge or approval. Granted, I’ve shared less about them here in recent years, and have always maintained their anonymity … but, still … they have reached ages at which I’m sure they would prefer those things be private.
And so, rather than waiting for them to ask, or for one of them (or, worse yet, one of their peers) to discover this blog, I have hidden from the public just about every post and social-media image in which their faces are clearly shown, as well as posts containing stories that, at this point in their lives, probably are best kept private. (I’ve also hidden a lot of other really lame posts that were doing little more than cluttering up the place — and, yes, I know at least one of you just made a “But Jon, that must mean you’ve deleted EVERYTHING!” joke, and, sweet Jesus, you are funny … and by “funny” I mean “such an asshole.”) The result? The almost-700 posts available here yesterday have been whittled down to about 200.
So what’s next? We’ll see. I’m eager to do some more blogging … which is what prompted me to make this move to begin with. The extent to which my forthcoming posts will deal with fatherhood remains to be seen. Meanwhile, although the infrequency of my posts has certainly caused my readership numbers to drop in recent years, I know some of you still come back every time I post something (for which I thank you), and I know one of the things you’ve enjoyed here are my stories about my kids and my family. I hope to find ways to continue to tell some of those stories, albeit in a less revealing fashion … and I hope to also write some other stuff that you’ll think doesn’t suck.
Most of all, though, I hope to write.
I completely respect your decision and concern for your children, but I will miss your perspective on child-rearing and child-focused stories…that said, your viewpoints on office life are equally entertaining, so start writing about your coworkers…but don’t get fired, of course. 😉
Jon Zal says
Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll still find child-rearing, child-focused things to write about … just with less pictures of and/or personal details about the kiddos. 🙂
Here’s a thought for your consideration, Jon. Kids love to hear their parents talk about things they (the kids) did when they were younger. Grownups enjoy the same stories about themselves. Rather than delete all those stories, print them out into booklet form, have the book bound at Office Max, and give it to them when they’re old enough to appreciate it. In your case, perhaps keep the books locked in a safe deposit box and included in your will for bequeathal after your demise. 🙂 I guarantee your kids will love them.
Jon Zal says
Rest assured I’ve not deleted anything; I’ve just hidden it from public view. I definitely plan to pass it on to them when the time is right. 🙂
Julie Jordan says
I’m still hangin’ around, Jon. I totally understand your thought process but I will say, the stories about your kids are some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read. Good to know you’re trying to write more. You have been missed. xoxo
I think that was such a smart decision! I’m glad you pop in once in a while and I’ll hang on while you do!
I think it’s a wise decision and yes, one day the kids WILL appreciate those stories – not just appreciate, but LOVE having them….but not now.
I’m ready to see you blogging more. Really.
You’re a good writer, so I check in no matter the topic–so yes, write! 🙂
Michael from Dadcation says
I miss you! And your children, now.
You go, man!
Firstly, much respect to you for respecting your children so much.
Secondly, that is a HUGE task. I can’t begin to imagine how long it took. Did you have fun, coming across old memories? 🙂
That was a lot of work since most of your postings centered around your children’s antics. Looking forward to see where you find your material now – or how you can still spin some of the family stories indirectly – I am sure it will be hysterical!
Alicia (Miss BakeALot) says
I too will miss your writing about your children’s exploits, but I completely understand why you did what you did. The blogosphere isn’t a safe place for anything personal these days.
In any case, while I have missed reading your amazing blog posts lately, I’m glad to see you’re still hanging in there and intend to write more in the future. I will read with pleasure!
Welcome back! I don’t care what you write about, just that you write.
Sarah T says
I check in weekly to see if you have posted anything. I don’t care what you write about just as long as you write something. Thanks for the laughs.
It has been almost a year since I last posted, and a lot of the reason is that my kids are older. I think they deserve to be in charge of their online life. There are so many things I would love to write about including my 15 year old getting his temps, or why travel baseball parents are bat sh*t crazy, but I don’t know how to do that with a public blog. I will look forward to seeing how you do it.