Cluck, Cluck, Cluck

19 May 2008

Sincerely, Anonymous

Dear Internet,

I choose not to share with you my daughter’s first name. Although it is a very, very good one if I do say so myself.

Privacy issues are a topic of constant debate in the mommyblogosphere. Honestly, it was one of those debates that I was having with myself for months that inhibited me from writing my own stuff instead of just reading about other people’s lives.

Here is the thing. I do not actually believe that putting her face and/or name online, on my blog of all things, is going to put my daughter at any real risk.

I am not a celebrity or an heiress. No one really gives a damn. She doesn't carry a Prada purse. My car is ten years old. Like I said, no one GIVES a damn.

Here, then, is my reservation and it is part of a much larger ongoing aspect of her life and mine as her parent.

Her dad and I are divorced. We have similar parenting philosophies and are currently writing out the details of a long overdue ‘parenting plan’ for the child that we share we don’t raise together. We share custody. When she is with him, she is with him. When she is with me, she is with me.

I think this is a unique thing for single parents who are writing about their kids or about being parents. I don’t have anyone to ok things with. And oh lord, I don’t want to rock the boat or upset anyone. I don’t want to appear to be exploiting my daughter or her father or their new family which includes his girlfriend, her son, and the baby they are expecting in the fall.

Eventually this topic winds its way around in my brain back to the much larger topic of Family. What constitutes my family? My daughter’s family? What loyalties to I owe and to whom exactly? My daughter is clearly first and foremost in my decisions, but there are so many other people’s lives and opinions that must be factored into this process. There is her dad and his family. There is my boyfriend who has children and an ex of his own. There are sisters and parents and employers and ARGH! Where is the guidebook already? Hmm?

Hell, my mother still hasn’t quit contesting some of the facts in a story she found that that I had written for a memoir class in college and that was Seven Years Ago. Darling internet, can you feel my fear?

At any rate, for the time being I choose to stick with anonymity. At the very least, I choose to do so on this very global level. Those of you who know who I am because I invited you here also know my kid and her dad and the rest of it. For those of you who do not, please bear with me, I’m not trying to be a prima donna; I’m just attempting to navigate uncharted territory.

Family is the topic at hand here this week. What do we look like? Where we are going. And how , though we may not all look like the Berenstain Bears or Leave it to Beaver; we all deserve the same acceptance.

Please Stay tuned.

Sincerely, Anonymous

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