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This blog has become difficult to write!

In 2010, when I started, all was easy. The kids around me, including my own, did unusual and sometimes even cute things. I wrote about that stuff. Other parents, who had experienced and seen similar behaviors, laughed or empathized or commiserated.

The kids were subjects, which is the way we often treat young children: Their world was encompassed and defined by us. I could write about them and their pratfalls, because their identity was subsumed by that of their family’s.

But they move out of the subject stage quickly, don’t they? They become people. Adults, or close to it. With adult realities, glories, and problems.

More importantly, when you write about them as adults, they have their own identities as people that you can violate. They have privacy. They have pride.

Other fifth graders were unlikely readers. Now, their cohort might read these pieces. Some of the stories aren’t all that funny. Some that are funny, well, probably still shouldn’t be memorialized. What if an employer, a school, reads about it? It’s bad enough for your kid to lose an opportunity because of something they posted; what about if it’s something?you?posted?

Even though small children can be devilishly complex, additional complexity accompanies the move to adulthood. I find that it’s become increasingly difficult to find frames about the kids that are fair to them beyond the sometimes narrow dimensions of a 400-word written space.

I can’t carelessly embarrass them in front of, if not the whole world, then at least this little corner of the Interweb.

I used to be able to write about the wacky weekend pranks, because, no matter how wacky, what was the harm in talking about what a fifth-grader did? Things change when people reach adult- and then full person-hood (sometimes not in that order). Writing about your active six-year-old and putting up a picture of his calves can be cute. Posting a picture of your 15-year-old’s abs could be annoying or even creepy. Posting a plea of a pre-teen for a phone and your response?: Cute! Writing about teens stealing your booze, maybe not so much.

Somehow, and I suppose it’s part of evolution, they cease being cute?subjects. At the risk of embarrassment (for them, of course), I have to say that while my boys are becoming big, meaty guys, with burgeoning moustaches, I still look and still see the little boy in them.

When they were actual little boys, that kind of admission was easier. It’s more complex. As of now.

That’s why this blog has become so difficult to write. I wonder if it’ll soon be time to move on.

Scott Warnock is a writer and teacher who lives in South Jersey. He is a professor of English at Drexel University, where he directs the University Writing Program. Father of three and husband of one, Scott is on two local school boards and coaches all kinds of youth sports.

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2 Responses to “This blog has become difficult to write”

  1. Noooooooo! It can’t be time to move on!

  2. Am with you. Man. It’s a whirlwind, and then a fully realized person stands before you.

    Also, my favorite term from the Jon Stewart book: decutification.

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