Last night, I spent a night out with D – we had dinner at a local steakhouse, I drank wine. Within the flow of alcoholic numbness I reflected about the situation with the boys. They have been combative lately, overly sensitive. I suggested we try to step back from our expectations because I notice that we get most upset when our goals (for them, for us) are not being met, whether it’s their being quiet or their doing their homework or meeting some other school obligations, or when they are acting in a way that is different from what we want in the moment. We have to put what we want aside in favor of bringing them some peace.
Simple, logical, you know?
The numbness slipped away as we walked in the misty night, holding hands, deciding what to do next with our free evening and in that nicety a jolt of guilt suddenly ran through me. I felt bad about writing so openly about the children on my blog – I felt bad about putting my personal expectations above those of the kids. A fellow blogger wrote about it recently and I understood his point because he wrote under his real name but I found I could not do what he did, I could not separate myself from my children, from the experiences I was having, pen name or not. The other day, I shared with a friend in similar circumstances an idea about gathering our essays, our reflections of being parents of unique children, into a collection of sorts. She shot down my idea hard, almost angrily. I felt terrible about even having the idea, sick about it.
Perhaps someone out there knows who Adriana Bliss really is…perhaps I’m exposing my kids’ personal problems to the world without their permission. Perhaps I’m violating their privacy. She thought so.
Maybe all my writing violates privacy. There isn’t a single person in my world that doesn’t enter into the fiction, the memoirs, the daily posts. They are my life – they are my inspiration, they are everything.
Maybe I am wrong in what I am doing. Maybe I’m a horrible person for exposing my life, their life. Maybe I need to keep silent about the reality – shove everything beneath covers, beneath a layer of suburban bliss. Maybe I need to learn to speak in metaphors. Maybe I need to appear more like all those happy mothers with perfect children – speak only of pink princesses and football-carrying heroes and cookies baked from scratch. Or better, pretend I don’t have any children or a husband. Pretend I’m someone else entirely. I’ll bury myself in complete fiction –science fiction, romance, the murder mystery.
Like the profanity…will I have nothing if I drop my life from my writing, if I protect everything and everybody from exposure?
Once upon a time a girl, a boy, no a dog, no…an ant crawled his way up a tall Calla Lilly, no a rose bush, no…a birch tree, wishing to see the world from other than the base level in which he lived. He climbed until he reached the top. He gasped at the vastness he saw. He’d have to tell the tale of his venture – everything he learned up until now was changed. New light revealed truths he never imagined. Infinity was possible.
That’s when a bird picked him off the branch and ate him.