I’m still sick, and spent most of yesterday dozing and coughing on the couch. Carey had the exact same thing I have (flu, then bronchitis) and two and a half weeks later, she is still pretty tired. I’m one and a half weeks down, so I have high hopes for next week. No pressure, immune system, but I expect a full recovery.
Until I am up to snuff, I thought I might share the Time Magazine article on Helicopter Parenting that is going around the web. I read it in Lake Tahoe, and thought it was pretty good. How’s that for a stirring and thoughtful analysis? I have to say, though, guilty as charged. At five years old, I can’t imagine letting Mikey play in the front yard by himself. As I write this, I’ve gone and checked on Nicholas playing outside no less than three times. The gate to the backyard doesn’t have a lock, and I am convinced a “bad guy” will wander down our street, sniff the air like a vampire, and catch the scent of fresh two year old playing. He’ll use his super powers to mute the dogs (also outside) and abscond with Nicholas, who for the first time in his life will not utter a word.
And yet, I have a personal blog and put pictures of my kids online. Don’t try to work through the logic. You can’t. In my defense, I never wanted a blog but was gifted one by my friend Nicole, who thought I might be good at it. That, and I suspect she was growing tired of my many emails. I didn’t think I would keep it up, honestly, but two years later I am still here. I’m here as much for myself as I am The Mister. He loves my blog, loves reading about the day to day he misses while he is at work, and loves that this allows me to write, something he feels I was born to do. Since I dashed his hopes of living a lifestyle of leisure when I quit my six-figure job as an attorney, I figure I owe him at least a few posts a week.
I feel like I am at a pivotal point with the blog. (Forgive me the dramatics. I am sick, after all.) I can either shut it down or grow it into something of value. I want to grow it into something of value, but am unsure what that looks like. Well, that’s not exactly true, either. I know what I want to do; I want to be a modern day Erma Bombeck. I want a syndicated column and a book of greatest hits. While I’m at it, I’ll take twenty white kittens and some butterfly confetti, too. (The hubris, I know.) The question becomes whether I have what it takes to see my goals to fruition. Because, let’s face it, the helicopter parenting we do on our children is an extension of the caution and reserve we employ in our own lives. We choose responsible jobs, wardrobes, friends, and spouses to protect ourselves as much as our children. I went to law school because it was the only job I could think of that would allow me to read and write for a living without putting myself out there too much. (Lawyering doesn’t require as much creativity as you would imagine.) Now that I write for myself, I hide behind internet piracy and child safety laws to keep from pushing myself and my potential.
Can I write a great blog without abusing the privacy of my family? I believe I can. I believe that, to some degree, my concerns with safety is another excuse I give myself to keep from working to my potential. Bombeck wrote weekly about her family for thirty years, but as much as she wrote about them, I can’t tell you anything more than superficial trivialities–and those trivialities were damn funny. Of course, in this day and age people expect pictures with their posts, and the imagery issue is one I haven’t yet figured out in my head. Sometimes I think it’s much ado about nothing and other times I feel just the opposite.
What I can tell you is that I have goals and aspirations, most of them hindered only by my need for self preservation. I hope that by writing it out here I slowly begin to snip away the bubble wrap I have so lovingly and securely wrapped around myself…starting next week. For now, I am heading back to the couch for more dozing and coughing.