Awkward

Monday, September 04, 2006

Um, Hi Mom.

The cat is out of the bag. The secret has been revealed. The woman behind the curtain has stepped out and is grinning awkwardly in the direction of her mother.

I told my mother about the blogs today.

On one hand, I knew that if she simply typed my name into Google, she would get the surprise of her life. And who doesn't google themselves or family members ( or ex-boyfriends - not that I would KNOW or anything)? That was not a phone call I wanted to get, because it would have come in the middle of something - like sewing a complex costume for Emily's play, or open brain surgery..or me trying to bake something edible.

It may seem odd to you all that I, mistress of self exposure, would hesitate to reveal her blogs to her mother. And, honestly, I am not sure why it took me over a year. Well, maybe I do.

At first, I was writing my way back to life from last years depression. I didn't know what I wanted the blog to be, or even What it was, let alone inviting my Mom into the fray.

Then, I got embarrassed. Why would she want to know these details? Would she be a little freaked out by some of what I talk about here? Would she read something that would cause her undue worry? Was this really any of her business? Would she attempt to interject or edit what I said on the blog?

And time wore on. And I failed to mention the blog. Then it became two blogs, then three. And other stuff. Speaking at BlogHer. ClubMom. Nominations.

Over the past month, I have come to terms with the Blogs as being large parts of my current life. These aren't going away any time soon. In fact, if the past bears into the future, the blogs will get larger. I will be unable to pretend like they don't filter into the other parts of my life.

My relationship with my Mom is a reasonably good one. Being her first child, born when she was 19, I got the majority of her energy, as well as the closest observations of who she was, is and continues to be. We broke each other in as parent and child. We are similar and dissimilar. She marvels at my wit and strength. She has always been proud of me and I of her.

But we are not the same. This is the lesson I have been learning with my own daughter. As much as I can love and support her, she is not me. I am not her. Just as my mother is not her mother, nor am I my mother.

When you gain an understanding, as a parent, that you are someone's child the world shifts a bit. It was the first time that I realized that my mother was a woman - like me. That she was a working mother, trying to raise children, like me. That she may have wanted to lock herself in the bedroom and not make any damn sandwiches for any damn meals. That many of the things I blamed or resented her for were products of our genetic disposition towards depression, or exhaustion, or simple fallible humanity.

The inverse is true. My mothers image of me was one that I thought I controlled. To allow her into the inner sanctum of Dawn-ness was short circuiting the cord I had been trying to cut from my 13th birthday on. I had so carefully hidden who I was, out of habit, that not sharing the blogs made sense to me. It was easier this way. There were no conversations to be had, and my defense mechanism of withholding information was intact.

(Yes, internet - That is my power dynamic with my Mom. She asks a billion questions and wants to know detail, and I react by not telling her anything!)

So, the walls are down. The citadel is unguarded. Come on in, Mom. Sit down. Have a glass of wine. Hope you like it. Thanks for helping to build it. Love you.

22 Baleful Regards:

Piece of Work said...

It's funny, because my family doesn't know about my blog either, and sometimes I wish they did. But other times, I'm glad they don't--I don't really want them to freak out if I post about an argument with my husband. I don't want them to call me and point out grammatical errors. On the other hand, the blog is important to me, and I want to share it with them for that reason. So. Sigh. Good for you for letting your Mom in.

E. said...

It says a lot about your relationship with your mom that you can even consider telling her about your blogs, especially since you are so honest and sometimes raw here. I respect that.

I keep collecting more items of "damn, I relate to Dawn!" My mom was nineteen when she had me, too. (She also reads my blog.)

mamatulip said...

I love this. Good for you -- this post speaks volumes about the regard you have for your mother and yourself. I'm smiling.

Suebob said...

A big, brave step. I don't think I can ever do it myself, though.

Amanda said...

The worst part about telling my mom about the blog was that I lost my absolute best source of writing material. The crazy! It's really hard to restrain myself from writing about it!

Nancy said...

I admire you for sharing the blog part of yourself with your mom. I have not been able to consider sharing my blog with the family yet.

Hi, Dawn's mom! (waving)

Mignon said...

My mom and brothers read my blog, which is fine in the sense that I have nothing to hide from them and that we consistently laugh at and mock each other anyway. BUT, it also means I can't write about sex. Or complain too much about my upbringing. Oh well. That's what friends in real-life are for, I guess.

Hi Dawn's mom - will you comment? Do you have a name?

Elizabeth said...

You're braver than me, that's for sure. I've said the word blog to my Dad and brother, but since they don't really understand what it is, they haven't asked to read it.

I told them BlogHer was a "conference for women writers". I'm such a chicken.

Fraulein N said...

Welcome, Dawn's mom! You have an awesome daughter. I'm sure you already knew that, but we think she's pretty nifty too.

Dawn, it speaks volumes about your relationship with your mother that you let her in on this.

Andrea said...

I second fraulein n's welcome to Dawn's mom!

This is a big step Dawn. It makes my heart happy to know you've moved in this direction.

roo said...

Hi Dawn's mom!

wanderglow said...

I'm debating about coming out of the closet, too. I still haven't shared my real name on my blog, which is silly, really. I realize that if I ever want to be a serious writer (if, not when, mind you) I need to go ahead and do it. It is scary! And my parents' eyes on my blog is the scariest thing EVER, even though I've been nothing but respectful of them in my writing. They'll know the "real me" - horror of horrors! About our sex life! Aack!

Hi Dawn's mom! You have quite a daughter here - she's a true inspiration to so many of us. You should be proud.

Also, Dawn - thanks for the link on your blogroll! I am honored.

adwina - insparenting.com said...

I guess this is one of the biggest steps in your life, Dawn. I'm so glad to get to know you a bit from this blog. You surprised me already with your confession post, which was chosen as the Blog of the Week. That was really my pleasure, dear.

Thank you for your email and thanks a lot too for putting the logo in your sidebar :).

Hi, Dawn's mom. You have an awesome daughter here!

Warmly,
Adwina

kim said...

It is so much easier to expose yourself to strangers. I was afraid my family(actually my husband's) would A)think my writing sucked B)that I was insane C)not care at all--which is the worst of all. I still don't let my mother in law read my blog because of the cussing. I print stuff out for her.

I'm so glad that you can trust your mom.

Mommygoth said...

I let my mom read mine sometimes, but I send her static links to specific posts - she hasn't figured out how to navigate into the blog proper yet. I hope your mom appreciates the honesty you show here, and the community you have.

Hi, Dawn's mom!

TB said...

Hey there Mrs. Dawn! I hope you are proud of your daughter and what she does here. Her writing is awesome as you already know and she is real and true to herself. What more could you ask for?

Jaelithe said...

I have told my mom about my blog, but she doesn't bother to read it. Sometimes I'm glad she doesn't. Sometimes I wish she would. But if my mother did read my blog regularly, I would probably open my snailmail mailbox to find a printed copy of each post marked her editing suggestions in red ink.

(And the worst part about that is, all of her editing suggestions would be right).

Jaelithe said...

Marked WITH her editing suggestions, I meant to say.

See?

kathy said...

My family knows that I blog, but they don't know my user-name or my url. My S.O. and my kids read it all the time, though.


Hi Dawn's mom!

Sugarmama said...

Funny. I told my mom about my blog when I first started it. She checked it exactly ONCE and never looked at it again. (I know this because she's a blabber mouth and would be constantly calling me about it if she did read it.) Sometimes I feel like my former grade school self, finding various class projects in the trash. Other times I feel lucky.

Either way, here's a shout out to Dawn's mama!

Queue said...

I so identify with ths, you know wht is totally strange, I know my ENTIRE family knows about my bog, I told them, even book markd a few pcs with it, imagine my surrise that they actually READ. Let alone read the blog. I knew they would use it as a link to my flickr page, but to actually read the entries. That was just too much.
And my dad, he started reading it the first day I checked it from his house.

much to my surprise. I never thought they would even be interested in who I am.

So now my aunt, half her coworkers, my sisiter, my mom , my dad, my brother and possibly my granny all read my blog.

pray for me

Izzy said...

Urghhhhh...this is such a loaded topic for me. I can't even begin to comment in depth but congrats to you. You must feel a bit lighter, no?

 
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