This past weekend, my husband and son left for a camping trip.
My daughters and I enjoyed every minute.
Two and a half days largely looked like...coffee, bookstore, glitter art, toe nail painting, hair brush dancing, sushi, gelato, tulips, pancakes, mass and sea salt caramels. The only thing that kept us from a bike ride was the Sunday "New York Times" and the rain.
After saying prayers, singing songs and lavishing kisses, I closed the door and headed to the kitchen to pour a generous glass of wine, excited to go upstairs and write or read or peruse Netflix...and breathe...alone.
While gulping the red, I heard my Kate's (8) feet on the stairs and slid my journal to the side of the bed in anticipation of an extra cuddle or story. "Mama...why are you always writing? I guess...what are you writing? I mean, can I read that?"
"Well, I guess I write because I can't help myself. I've always written. You know how you love to play the piano and make all kinds of art? Even when you're not trying, you're putting something together with twine or buttons or twigs or canvas...everything is art for you...that's how words and stories are for me."
"Yes...that's right. But I let you see it, my art and music, I mean," retorts Kate still resolute on reading my chicken scratch.
"I know what you mean, but sometimes, there are pieces of us that we're not entirely ready to share with the world and so, we respect that in each other. I know that you have a diary and that you choose to keep it private. I think that's important. And well, soon enough, I suppose, you can read the stories that I've been composing and sharing on my blog over the last years. You may get a kick out of them or you may, well, I guess you can be the judge of that."
After a seemingly satisfied look and a big hug and kiss, her question got me thinking about the sharing of my stories. When I began my blog, Sam, our oldest was 6...now he is 11. Kate was 3 and now she is 8. And Claire, well she wasn't yet a year old. They're growing and so too is their desire to know more about the inner workings of me. What stories do I tell and why? I'm sure that some of the blog entries will make them laugh, others will probably cause them to blush, some may even elicit a "What the hell were you thinking, mom" response. But regardless, I hope that they can feel a level of honesty and authenticity that better helps them to get a window into the woman I am especially when I can't be as frank as I'd like to be.
With regard to my journals, well, they'll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands. I'm sure they'll be buried in some random moth ball filled boxes in the cellar, half written, the ravings of a mad woman. But maybe, just maybe, they'll read and think, "Right on...our mom was a bad ass who happened to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches...we just didn't know all of these sides of her." Or, maybe they'll be horrified. Who knows? For now, the stories stay with me. And I think, that's okay.