I know a lot of mommy bloggers began their blogs as a way to document not only their children's childhood, but also who THEY were as a parent to their child, and as a person outside their role as "mommy". They began with the goal of sharing who they were and how they thought with their children when they were older: what it was like to live each day together, the major events as they happened, etc. That was never my goal.
But the other day as I was scrapbooking I was journaling on the page, which is something I'm trying to do more of (and blogging helps with that quite a bit, actually), and I thought "I'll put a little bit of the story here. I have the full tale on my blog."
The scrapbook is different, very different, than the blog. The major goal of my scrapbooking is basically an enhanced photo album. The May Queen loves to look through them now, and so I try to get pictures in fairly quickly (ahem. I run about 6 months behind. Give or take 4 months). I'm trying to journal more so that other friends and family who look at them will know the stories behind the photos, and also because as I was looking at old albums at my parent's house last summer I wished so much that there were stories attached to the pictures. What on earth were Grandpa and I doing under the table in this photo? I hope that some day in the future we'll be able to look back at the scrapbooks and remember not only the event in the picture, but the events that surrounded it.
The journaling in the scrapbook, though, is for immediate consumption by family and friends and even sometimes acquaintances who happen into our home and to flip through my books. The blog... while much more immediate and in a lot of ways much more public, is deeper and more private. I choose who, in my circle of friends and family, has access to it. The things I write and tell about are different. More personal, in a lot ways. But I'm beginning to think about it in terms of something that I might indeed gift to the May Queen as she gets older. Maybe not all of it. Maybe just select posts that are printed into a book or binder for her: This is me. This is your mother. This is how I saw the world. How I loved you.
It's not quite a private journal. I write much differently when I write in a private journal. I think, however, that this blog may be better than a private journal. A lot of the stuff I've written in private journals in the past I think may be destined for flames. I'm not sure I want my daughter or any future generations reading that dreck. But writing a blog for an "audience" has challenged me to explain myself better and to think about who I am in ways that a private journal did not. I hope that The May Queen might, someday in the distant future, lay her eyes on this and think "what a treasure, to know what my mother was thinking and feeling as I grew up. To know WHO she was, as my mother, and as a woman outside of just my mother." I know I would love to have something like this from my mother.
Do any of you have anything... journals, letters, etc... from your mothers or other ancestors? How have they shaped how you view them?