October 25, 2007 by multiracialsky
A close relative of mine admitted this morning that she hasn’t read my blog “in some time” because something I wrote troubled her–so she just stopped reading. She said she couldn’t remember what it was that bothered her, although I suspect she just didn’t want to tell me.
I’ve been doing this internet writing thing we call blogging for six months now. I used to despise the word ‘blog’. It sounds like I have something nasty stuck in the back of my throat. I don’t like how it makes my mouth feel when I say it. But I have grown used to it. I no longer say “I write online biweekly columns” when what I mean is “I blog”.
No one in my family blogs regularly (or if they do, it’s a really big secret). I keep up with IRL friends and online friends through their blogs; I click over almost every day. I love knowing the little extras going on in their lives, stories I may miss during a phone conversation or through email.
However, I’m not writing a family blog here, with commentary on our new sippy cups and discussions of the felt food I want to make for the kids’ toy kitchen. I’m writing about some of the topics that are most important to me, personally and professionally.
I work especially hard at my posts that explore multiracial families, multiracial people, White privilege, and antiracist activism. I started including Life Links posts when I realized there was all this background reading that often didn’t make it as a direct link in a topic-post, but the articles were important just the same. I also recognized that some of my family and close friends do read my blog regularly–and many of the issues I write about here are the same ones I struggle to talk about calmly and coherently with those who’ve known me longest.
I often write much more clearly than I speak. Organizing my ideas visually, in front of me, helps me focus. Because goodness knows, I can be all over the page. (Like Dawn, I see connections between everything.) So although it wasn’t one of the reasons I began blogging in the first place, I’ve realized that my writing and links here are a way for people who know our family IRL to get a glimpse inside my head, to see what I pick up when I read the news, to understand the importance of antiracist activism for all of us–whether we identify as White or as a Person Of Color. (It’s also a step removed from having all these discussions with me in person; I’ve been told I can be a little intense : )
I love hearing the stories my kids make up, watching their dance shows in the living room, their ‘football’ games in the backyard. I hold my breath and listen to their conversations sometimes, in the backseat of the car, at the lunch table. My children are little magical mysteries to me–living, breathing humans with their own thoughts and experiences and interpretations of the world.
If one of my kids ever writes a newspaper column or an online blog (or whatever similar thing people will be doing 15 years from now) I will not miss one single word. I will snip their words out of the newspaper, print them off the computer. I would consider it a great gift to be able to read an essay written by my child on the topics that are important to them, from their point of view. Even if what they have to say is hard for me to hear.
By writing this blog, by committing my thoughts and experiences twice each week to the internet equivalent of paper, I am saying “this stuff is important to me and to our family”. It makes me sad (and a bit angry) to know that although my writing is reaching nearly 1000 strangers every week, for some of my family members, it’s not worth their time.