A friend sent me some questions, picking my brain about blogging and concepts. I answered them, using my previous experience to guide the conversation. As I helped her work out some thoughts about her blog tagline, she questioned as to whether I still stand by mine: “Writing (and photographing) the family side of fire life.”
I still write (and photograph) the family side of fire life. Our family life remains deeply shaped by my husband’s schedule. His presence or absence dictate everything from meals to availability at other events, the boys’ moods and my own. We miss him when he’s gone; we rely heavily on his help when he is home.
But I’m kind of important too. I shape our family too.
I’m here, day in and day out (when I’m not traveling for work). I shape the general pace and feel of our home life, whether my husband happens to be home or not. I do things like buy new pillows for the couch (they’re lovely) and create a homework center (I love it). I decorate for holidays (slowly, sometimes late); I find yummy scents to make our house smell delicious; I research, pin, and make great meals. I get us up early to make it to Sunday School, I let us stay up late for movie nights. I sign the boys up for sports (after asking if they want to play) and take the time to switch out their shorts for long pants, their t-shirts for sweaters — and back — as the seasons change. I write, edit, and photograph our world, sometimes for money that allows us to do the stuff that costs money and sometimes simply because I am, at my core, a lover of words and images.
Oh, and you know, there are the things that I do for me: running, dressing in what makes me feel beautiful, reading all the books.
I didn’t write about the presence of me in this family a lot in the earlier years. Maybe in the earlier years… I didn’t do much for me because I didn’t know me very well. And maybe I exhausted the self-talk in my college years of blogging; one can only blather about how unfair everyone is and how it’s everyone else’s fault that your life feels so miserable before realizing the truths, accepting personal responsibility, and vowing to never be that self-absorbed ever again. Maybe I felt that writing about myself, my passions, my journeys, my likes and dislikes, my self edged too close to that line. But maybe there’s a spot somewhere in the middle, somewhere that allows me to be a part of this blogging space just as I am part of our family. Maybe sharing bits and pieces of myself on a weekly basis doesn’t make me self-indulgent; maybe it just makes me a visible part of what happens here so that someday, when my sons delve into my blog — or when I look back on years and years of archives — they will see me as I looked, as I worked, as I played, and as I loved.
I hope that here, and in our daily life, the three other human members of our immediate four person family will someday recognize and appreciate that while I am a wife and mom, I am also a woman with many interests, passions, talents, and abilities.