Danielle has posted about the reality of our lives versus the life we blog. She describes a situation where a person in church complimented her on her patience. This happens to me a lot. People see you out and about with seven kids and as long as you are not behaving like a screaming lunatic they assume you have some kind of saintly, superwoman type of thing going on.
The reality is I can be the screaming lunatic far too often. Just not in public.
We try very hard to present ourselves in the best light for the rest of the world. I am very concious of this because I have, what is considered by society, a large family. If most people run out the door in sweatpants with their hair unkempt people will think she just went to the gym or she isn’t feeling well. If I do that people think that it is because I have seven kids.
"Of course she’s a mess, she has all of those kids."
If other children misbehave or a mother is snappish in public it’s because she is tired or stressed, if that happens to me it’s because I can’t control "all those kids". So in real life and in blog life it is important to present the good and the beautiful.
There is still some ugly lurking around.
For example, there is cheese on my coffee table. I have no idea why. It wasn’t there last night and I’ve walked past it a few times now. Each time I say to mysef that I am going to go right back and pick it up. Hasn’t happened yet. May not for a while. That is not the kind of thing I will take a picture of and share.
I don’t generally blog about my housekeeping mishaps or my children’s various meltdowns or character flaws. They all exist but if the purpose of the blog is to share our experiences and offer them as kind of a support for others living them same life then I am more interested in telling what we get right. With the occasional dose of the real. I don’t like to air people’s faults, except my own, or to violate the kid’s privacy. I want them to see the blog and know that I am proud of them and that everyday I am trying for the good, the beautiful, the holy.
In our photo albums from childhood there are no pictures of the ugly times, the arguments, the financial pitfalls, or any of the other things that happen in every family. What you see is the vacations, the happy times, the celebrations and the silly. We preserve what is good and cast off what is bad. That is the reality of blogging and journals. No sane person scrapbooks their parent’s divorce or their teenage indiscretions.
The truth is that I long to have Danielle’s humor, Elizabeth’s wisdom, Dawn’s creativity and Kim’s zest for life. I speak to my dear friend and I long for her gentility and sense of beauty. I hungrily devour their ideas and try hard to incorporate some of it here. I don’t need to or want to know what doesn’t work for them or to invade their privacy by knowing their faults. To me they are all simply wonderful whatever those bad days and faults may consist of.
We are a family. We are real and Dave and I are no saints. But we leave each day behind with a heartfelt and genuine prayer asking for the grace and help to do better. We examine our concious each day and honestly try to see where things went awry. We discuss our day and then we leave it behind. We vow to do better and the good stuff we share. Here. We are in this together and we love this life enough to make a concerted effort everyday to get it right.
Thank you for wanting to share it with us.