Blogging is such a strange thing. I frequently ask myself lately why I continue to share these bits and pieces in such a public forum. I have a pretty limited audience here, so there's not really any pressure to deliver, and to be perfectly honest, I don't have a lot of free time to spend here. When I find myself with a few spare minutes, I can usually fill them up pretty easily with something that needs to be cooked or folded or put away, with little people who want more kisses or candy, with sewing projects, with a few more episodes of Sons of Anarchy (oh my goodness, we are almost done with season 5!). What is it about blogging that keeps me (and the thousands of other people who maintain blogs) coming back?
I think it is human nature to want to document this experience of life. Before there was the internet, there were letters and memoirs and journals and diaries. We have always done this; technology has just given us a new way to capture this moment and the next. I started keeping a diary in 4th grade, and I guarded it fiercely under lock and key. I'm sure there are boxes of my old journals and notebooks in my mom's attic, and dear Lord, I hope she never decides to go looking for the self-centered musings of that 16-year-old girl. I doubt I will ever want to share those with anyone. I think writing is a way of processing for me, as if capturing my thoughts helps them become real and organized and objective. I have often used this blog as a way to process my experience, especially when I was a new mom. I guess in the grand scheme of things, I am still a new-ish mom, but it doesn't feel so scary and unknown anymore.
For some reason, I feel a little more closed off and hesitant to share those personal stories lately. It's not that Colin is any less adorable than Cara was at 14 months or that I love him any less. Cara's uniquely three-and-a-half-year-old perception of the world astounds me and makes me laugh on an almost daily basis, but I feel sort of stuck when I think about writing up their experiences. I am still getting to know their developing personalities and preferences, and right now, I don't feel right boxing them in with a blog post. I miss the experience of writing those posts and rereading them months later. I can relive Cara's toddler-hood and Colin's baby-hood to a certain extent, and I hope that they will enjoy doing the same when they are a bit older. Maybe being here less frequently over the past several months has made me a little timid.
But there's something else. I have become a lot more conscious of my internet and social media consumption recently, not because I think I overdo it, but because I see how controlled my high school students are by it. I'm not that far removed from this generation of teenagers, but they are dealing with a significantly different world than the one I grew up in. There are some who are literally unable to go for an entire 90 minute class without checking their phones for whatever social media is lighting up their screens with alerts. I know this is the new way of passing notes, and I can't act like I didn't do my fair share of that in high school, but there is a problem when a student asks me to hold on because he's got to "catch this tweet" before he can show me the thesis statement he was supposed to be working on. I never want to allow any social media to come before or in place of real life. I think observing the way my students use technology and the internet has made me want to back away a bit.
However, I'm not going anywhere. The internet, social media, blogs, none of these are going anywhere either. This beast is not one to be ignored, and there is so much good to be found here and there. I hope that a little extra time and little less stress during the summer may loosen up my writing voice. I love documenting my sewing projects and posting pictures, but I miss working through an experience through writing. All things in moderation though, right?