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A letter to My 2.0 Kids, with 5.0 Apologies


Dear Jakob, Ben and Tessa,

When I was your age, my mom worked two, and sometimes three, jobs.  She left early in the morning and came back home late. I had, and still have, no idea what she did in between.

Unless we were in the same house, I didn’t know what she was up to.  And to be honest, I don’t think I ever cared.

She didn’t even have a cell phone. No one did actually….but that’s a story for another time.

I didn’t know whether or not she liked her job, she never told me.  I didn’t know what it was like for her to be a single mom. She saved telling me that grown up stuff for when I was more grown up myself.  And then she said it right to me. Over coffee, to my face. Weird, right?

You three, for better or for worse, are growing up in a very different way.  For the first time in history, you are part of a generation of kids growing up with their parents online. When I send you off to school in the morning and go on with my day, I may vanish to you for now (until you get those iphones you’re already asking for), but my story isn’t vanishing, I’m telling it.

I share the day-to-day stuff of being a parent and owning a business, along with the random, the funny, and the mundane, online each and every day. And the thing about all this sharing is, it lasts. One day, not too long from now, if you want to know what I was up to on any given day, the Internet will be able to tell you.

So, before you are old enough to Google me and find these things out for yourself, here are a few apologies in advance.

  1. No doubt, you will be embarrassed by me. My mom was limited to embarrassing me at school pick up. But you will live in a world where my love of legwarmers, pictures of me dancing, and my musings about the characters of True Blood will live on. And be able to embarrass you online. Forever. Soooorrry.
  2. I talk about you. A lot. I talk about surviving weeks tending to you all with the flu, running away from hotel fire alarms in the middle of the night, tooth fairy blunders, and birthday trip-ups and triumphs. I truly believe I survived my childhood through developing a selective and creative memory. You will not have this luxury and I am sorry.
  3. Other parents talk about their kids too. And some of them have been doing a waaaay better job than I have. I remember once seeing a friend’s beautifully made baby books and asking my three-job working mother why I didn’t have any. That did not go over well. Comparison, as they say, is the thief of joy. Remember when you read about the parents of others that you didn’t get to pick me, my apologies. Trust me, it could be worse.
  4. I wasn’t always thinking about you. When I was a child, I gotta admit, I figured my mom’s life was all about me.  That was all I saw. Well, as much as I have written about you, I have written a whole lot about other things too.  Some of which you will like and some you won’t. Your Mama is also a person; one day you will forgive me for that.
  5. I knew that my mom was proud of me, because she told me. I knew when she was worried about me because we sat across the kitchen table and she told me, to my face. In private. In my online life, I have tried very hard to respect your privacy. To share only the wondrous, and keep the private, precious. Always remember to praise in public and critique in private. That is a lesson for life, online and off.  My biggest worry is that I might forget to tell you how brilliant you all are, because I typed about it instead. Or how much I miss you sometimes, or the ache of watching you grow. If you ever read something that I forgot to tell you, that was a mistake and I’m sorry.

I have been struggling a lot over the past few months about whether I can keep writing about you. I don’t have a guidebook for all this social parenting stuff I am one of the first parents to be living it.

My instincts tell me to remember one day you will be reading, to write about you as I would my best friend, to embarrass you only as much as my mother did and remember that everything changes. One day, I will be different too, and looking back reading the things I have written with new eyes.

This life is your story and your voices are the ones who need to be telling it. When you are ready.

Just remember, I will be reading.

Love,

Mama

 

Wanna read more?

Say hi to Scott on twitter at @unmarketing, on Facebook or read more from him at www.unmarketing.com

You can also check out his books UnMarketing and The Book Of Business Awesome/The Book Of Business UnAwesome

Say hi to Alison on twitter @nummiesbras or read more about, and by her, on the Nummies blog 

 

 

 

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