An Open Letter to My Family,
This is Mrs F's blog. She writes about whatever she wants to, and with very rare exception I don't ever have a problem with anything she's ever posted.
This is a personal space. It is a diary. Mrs F shares her thoughts and feelings here with what has become a pretty close group of supportive, yet mostly anonymous "friends."
It can be about safe topics like organic foods, recipes, kids or shopping. But this blog is really about her life. Good and not-as-good.
But more than anything else, this blog is honest. Always. And despite today's objection from my cousin, nobody has ever been treated cruelly here.
This isn't a "family keep-in-touch blog."
Not everything here (or at my blog for that matter) is suitable for everyone. No one has ever been "invited to" or "excluded from" here. If you read, it is your choice—and if you read something you don't like, it is up to you decide what you want to do with that. Do NOT expect things here to be stifled. I have lived the first 30-plus years of my life withdrawn and suppressing emotions, and the single biggest impact Mrs F has had on my life has been helping me break through that, and I will NEVER ask her to do the opposite.
Nothing here is ever written to hurt anyone's feelings. But at the same time, it is not Mrs F's job to protect everyone from their own feelings.
Two of my sisters read the blog. And comment—not as regularly as some of you, but it's a pretty safe bet that they'll see this. It will probably make them uncomfortable, and I'm sorry about that, but they'll live. They can acknowledge everything they read here is true and own it—[gasp!] sometimes their brother might be an asshole—or they can pretend everything is always perfectly normal and not think about it—and live only on the surface—it's what we in my family were all trained to do.
My parents may or may not have ever read the blog. I honestly cannot see them being interested in anything that takes place here at all topically, and the fact that it constantly deals with actual emotions and opinions, etc is nothing I expect they want to experience regularly. Either way, they have never discussed it with us and they were just here.
So, as far as I'm concerned, if my mom, dad or anyone else surreptitiously reads the blog without ever revealing it, it's akin to reading somebody's diary when they're not in their room and taking offense at what they find.
This isn't talking behind their back—we've tried to have a dialogue about all of this stuff with them, I poured it all out and we went waaay out on the limb—it went nowhere. Mrs F has done more than anyone in my family to foster the relationships that we have let whither on the vine. Through her efforts much of that has improved, but only as far as all parties will let it. My parents force a level of interaction that is far more shallow than I would like, and that means painful awkwardness or complete cluelessness depending on how aware you want to be. A visit means lots of small talk, tiptoeing and jawclenching...so when they leave, there is usually some pressure that needs to be let off.
That's what this blog is for.
There's a natural reaction from me to ask Mrs F to pretend this weekend never happened—but that's not being honest. Not by me, and it's not right to expect her to pretend Mothers Day was great if it wasn't or that "everything's swell" when it's not.
It is her blog, and she shouldn't have to censor herself to protect my family—they are all adults.
If you ever read anything here that brings you up short or offends you, before you lash out at Mrs F., or condemn her, stop to think about why you reacted that way. If you think she's crazy for breastfeeding a two-year-old or for co-sleeping, maybe you have some of your own guilt to deal with. If you are offended that somebody would dare say something truthful and admit their family is less than perfect, than perhaps that, too, is an issue you need to deal with.
Love (and tough-love, too),
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
A Note From Mr F
Hoo Boy. I think I need to step in and address something...