Wednesday, November 14, 2007

in which i come clean

So, you start a blog and you write about lots of things, but mostly about how you feel and what you think and how you find everything in the whole entire world either shatteringly difficult or endlessly amusing. You don't include every detail of your life, because you know that no-one would be interested in reading about it and it wouldn't make a good story anyway.

In particular, there's this one fact that you don't mention. At first, you don't mention it because it doesn't seem particularly relevant. Then, you don't mention it because you just don't feel like mentioning it. Then, you don't mention it because it would look kind of odd that you didn't mention it before. And you tell yourself that it's your blog and that you've never implied that you're revealing absolutely everything about yourself, that, in fact, you've strongly suggested exactly the opposite, and if your readers make assumptions that turn out to be wrong, well, that really isn't your fault is it?

But, over time, some people, whether in emails or in person, say things that make you feel like you really have to tell them. So you do. And then you feel guilty because somehow it doesn't seem fair to dole out information so asymmetrically. Also, you feel like you're getting a certain amount of sympathy that you really don't deserve. So you decide to just tell everyone in one fell swoop and and get it over with.

I have a son. He's in high school and, at least so far, he's turned out pretty much exactly the way I hoped he would. But that's really all I want to say about him. Because that's not what this blog is about.

Feel free to use the comments to express your surprise or to tell me that there was no need for me to mention this or to say that you suspected it all along.

Then let us never speak of it again.

71 comments:

Caro said...

Like you say - it's your blog - post/don't post whatever you want.

I know you can hear me... said...

I agree - it's your blog, and your life. You can tell or not tell anyone anything that you want. And I don't think that you owe anyone apologies for that.

Isis said...

It is your blog.

You make the rules.

We read because we like you.

Kristen said...

Blogger stole my comment :(

ITA. Your blog = your decisions. No explanation required.

Besides, I love learning about the person on the other end of the screen, whether it be shocking or minute. :)

DD said...

First bloglines and now blogger....

I just wanted to wish you congratulations, not on "coming out", as there is no obligation on your part to share that information, but a congratulatory note for having a son.

slouching mom said...

I didn't think it was possible to like you more than I already do. But the way you framed this admission is so in keeping with YOU that it made me gasp. Note that the information itself did not make me gasp.

I find you fascinating, niobe.

And no, not in a stalkerish kind of way. In case you were worried.

Lori said...

DUDE!!

I'm lovin' the layers of you.

Waiting Amy said...

Surprised, and yet, somehow not.

As SM said -- I find you fascinating. There is so much you share, and yet so much is hidden. I don't know that I could be that. And that keeps me coming back.

This is your blog to share what you wish and when. I'm just glad I'm lucky enough to be here to share it.

Julia said...

You know, that bit about getting sympathy you don't deserve is very you. I don't think grief, and grief of dead babies in particular, is measured against what we do have. I don't think you would do that to any of the rest of us, and yet you are more than willing to do that to yourself.

Pamela Jeanne said...

Wow. You are a riddle wrapped up in an enigma. Thanks for continuing to surprise and delight us...

Aurelia said...

Well, I'm glad you said so on the blog, just because you do have a living child, and I really was happy to find out.

Doesn't change the loss of the twins in any way, they are separate people and they deserve to be mourned for who they were. But would you understand if I said that it's wonderful that you have been able to experience parenting at some point in your life?

Take care, I'm sending you a hug from me.

Cate said...

Wow, you have a big fan club. Do I get a free gift at Christmas if I join?

passingwindows said...

I'm glad you have a son.

And it's your blog, you tell us whatever you feel like telling us.

Amelie said...

A bit surprised, but not much. Mainly happy for you.

Sara said...

I have at least 10 of those "things I haven't told my blog readers even though they could be relevant but I don't mention them 'cause it would be weird and I don't want to talk about them all the time or have them color my readers' whole mental picture of me."

So, uh, no judgment from over here.

LawMommy said...

Somewhat surprised, but, not stunned. Is he from a previous relationship?

niobe said...

Lawmommy: Nope. L's his father.

Katie W said...

Wow, unlike some commentators I am shocked, and not in a bad way, just that I'd never of guessed from what you write on her. But like everyone else, it's your blog, your choice, but I'm glad you chose to share.

ms. G said...

Grrrr...it just ate my comment. As I was saying, I just read a comment of yours on another blog, (can't remember who) where you spoke of not believing in making a relationship between the living child and the dead sibling. So, yes, the news puts that comment in a different perspective for me. As it will probably bring different perspective to other things you will write. (for me, I mean)

In other words, now I have a fuller picture. But, no, you didn't have to tell. It's your blog and you can keep mum if you want to. :)

Magpie said...

You are endlessly fascinating.

Kathy McC said...

I thought you were going to say that you had and extra set of arms or something! ;-)

I think it's wonderful that you have a living child. It doesn't make your grief any different...so don't ever feel like you don't deserve to express the feelings that you have in your heart.

Tash said...

Haven't known you that long, so I guess I would have assumed you didn't have other children, but I'm not terribly surprised either. Hey, your blog, your words, no pressure. Would love to hear more about, but you'll assuredly find endless ways to amuse me and suck me in without talking about him ever again. (That said, don't feel like you can't play the "mom card" when commenting. I won't pry further.) Like you said, not what the blog is about. Period.

Beruriah said...

I'm glad he's turning out as you'd hoped. And that he's a good kid.

I won't mention him again.

Catherine said...

It's funny because I never really gave it much thought...whether you had other children or not. What draws me to your blog is your writing about our shared and different grief experiences (and your wicked sense of humor). If you don't want to write about shared and different experiences with living children, it makes no never mind to me.

I am glad he's turning out the way you'd hoped.

Eva said...

Well, wow. I admit to being very surprised.

Julie Pippert said...

I admit it: I am wicked curious about why (why you don't mention him, how you can mange not to---well, then again, not everyone has diarrhea of the mind like I do). But these questions are really, actually irrelevant and largely rhetorical.

They occur to me simply because I am curious abut people who do things differently from me.

In the end, like you said, that's not what this blog is about.

And truthfully, we all keep secrets.

Sometimes the blogs that appear the most revealing are like a magic trick to distract eyes away from what's not being said.

I certainly haven't shared everything and consider no writer under obligation to share everything.

But thank you for sharing this, anyway.

And I am SO GLAD I finally got you in my daily list. You are fabulous.

Julie
Using My Words

Wabi said...

To me the fun of the Internet is that you can edit, frame, and revise your life any damn way you want, without explanation. However, your explanation was typically entertaining and honestly did shock me. It really changes my perception of your (for lack of a better term) "onscreen character" in the blog. Fascinating ...

truculent.girl said...

I understand completely and I think the post was very well done. I understand about the sympathy thing too.

SaraS-P said...

just reiterates that the struggles are the same no matter how many kids you start out with.

Coggy said...

That's cool. Like everyone has been saying, it's your blog, you started it for the reasons you needed to. You don't have to tell any one anything but it's nice that you did.

Yankee T said...

Lucky boy.

Anonymous said...

Does he live with you, or did you put him up for adoption in your earlier years and just know he's doing well?

Anonymous said...

Does he live with you, or did you put him up for adoption in your earlier years and just know he's doing well?

Which Box said...

Wow, I'll admit surprise and shock. The twist I didn't see coming.

Julie Pippert wrote: Sometimes the blogs that appear the most revealing are like a magic trick to distract eyes away from what's not being said.

And what's so endlessly fascinating about your blog, why I am hooked and slightly stalker-ish, is that you reveal bits and pieces that aren't quite a whole picture yet. Like a mosaic with less than 25% of the tiles placed. Heck, probably less than 10%. So I squint, and turn my head, and hope to catch a glimpse of the you that is the "real you," whatever that is. I feel like a whole section of tile was just laid down, but in a corner that had no other tiles, so it doesn't quite fit and not clear how it matches with everything else yet.

But I can't wait to find out.

thailandchani said...

I completely get what you are saying. There are certain things I don't blog about, either. It's only natural.

I only want to know what you want to tell me.

Elizabeth said...

Surprised, delighted, and if I wasn't hooked before I certainly am now... :-)

And I agree with others who said that this fact in no way diminishes your losses.

nancy said...

oh good lord. After the buildup, I thought you were going to tell us that you were in prison because you killed a man. :)

When I read "it", I thought, um "so?". I have kids and I blog about IF. So I KNOW that the fact of having children does NOT detract from anything at all you say about IF. Nothing at all.

But then I think of the secondary vs primary IF discussions I've gotten into. And I accept how people perceive me because of it. It's their choice. And I wonder how those people who didn't support "me" and supported "you" would feel any different about you. I sure the hell don't. But if in case someone does, I'm sure sorry about it. I don't think you don't need to talk about anything you don't want to. And honestly, your big relavation didn't change one little ioda (iotta? no idea how to spell that).

wannabe mom said...

i suspected it all along.

i'm kidding. thanks for more insight into your life. i'm glad you spilled.

Becky said...

I'm a "take people at face value" person, so I spend little to no time reading between the lines, because I'm often so wrong anyway.

That said, I had no idea. You're a riddle, niobe.

LAS said...

I loved this post. I loved the build up. I think you can say as much or as little as you want - it's completely your choice. I was surprised, but not surprised at the same time I guess. But as far as sympathy you don't deserve - well, I don't think that's true. It's wonderful that you have what you have, but it doesn't change what you don't have or detract from the grief or the sadness, it doesn't make it okay. It's like someone telling me (which they have) that I should just be happy to be alive - nevermind the fact that there are things that I want out of life like children for example - but I should just be happy to be here since I could have instead died of cancer. Well, true - and I am happy to be here, but that doesn't make me less scared or sad or angry about never having the things that I wanted out of life. Anyway, thanks for sharing! You are a mystery!

Christine said...

i bet he is wonderful. like his mama.

Grad3 said...

Along with everyone else, you can do whatever you like! It's your blog.

I would like to say that I am glad you are proud of your son and happy with how he is turning out. Afterall, h.s years can really change people.

My Reality said...

I am not at all surprised. I am happy he has turned out how you had hoped.

MissedConceptions said...

I am only shocked by the fact that you are old enough to have a child in high school!!

It is difficult enough dealing with this as an adult; I can't imagine trying to process emotions of loss/concern/confusion/grief as a child.

bubandpie said...

You're funny. ;)

Manda said...

Aww, I thought you were going to "come out" in the more traditional sense!

L could easily have stood for Lesbian Lover, and "husband" could have just been to throw us off the scent...

Congrats on the kid though, at least you know you are "capable" of breeding, and although you might not want to discuss it further it would be intersting to know if there were any difficulties with your pregnancy with him.

Angel Mom said...

I, too, am surprised. I'm so glad he is turning out the way you had hoped.

Bon said...

i am totally surprised, and yet...once, a long time ago, when i first happened upon a post that mentioned L i thought L was a child of yours. and i don't know why, because it wasn't that you said something juvenile about him.

i think, rather, it was because all the writing of yours i'd read to that point was so encapsulated, so self-contained within the narrative of the twins and your grief, that i had less trouble imagining an older child than a partner.

whatever that's worth. :)

like Slouching Mom, i love the way you told this. and...that he's turned out as you hoped he would.

and we shall never speak of this again.

vixanne wigg said...

That's interesting. Mostly because I didn't think of you as old enough to have a son in high school. So now I'm thinking that either you had him very young or you are quite a bit older than I imagined you. But that's all. I still like your bloginess. :)

LAS said...

I was thinking more...what you don't have, it also doesn't lessen the joy about what you do have. These things aren't tied together that way, if that makes sense.

S. said...

I'm shocked, SHOCKED to find secrets being kept on this blog.

susan said...

This post is so totally, utterly, you. Delightful.

Brenda said...

I think its wonderful you felt at ease enough to tell us. Im also glad he has turned out as you hoped.

Hugs
xxx

Rebecca said...

I'm slightly surprised - mostly because that puts you older than I thought, really.

But of course he's like you hoped - he has you as his mother!

xxxxx

Monica said...

I'm surprised, but in a good way. I'm also wondering what other secrets you have. Now you are much more interesting than you were before, if that is possible.

I have a secret too. I sorta like the way my husband's armpits smell. That's gross I know. And that does NOT make me anymore interesting. But it is all I have right now.

Jitters said...

I am never surprised by what I read, just fascinated.

Glad you have another wonderful person to share life with.

Jill said...

Niobe and secrets. No way! I feel a little foolish admitting this, but I never suspected that you had a living child, let alone a child old enough to be in high school. What a paradigm shifting moment about one of favorite bloggers. As an aside: at various times, I have thought that you were a lesbian and that L was your wife/partner. That's what I thought you were coming clean about. So much for my ability to read between the lines.

Phantom Scribbler said...

What S. said. But you knew that!

Furrow said...

Everyone loves your layers. Now you have to figure out how to top this admission. What will you tell us about next? Your vampirism, your third nipple, your Jimmy Buffett obsession?

Love ya lots, Niobe. I'm glad you were able to share this with so many people who care about you.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This revelation blew my Anonymous reading mind, to the degree that I've actually had to digest it for a day before posting what I think.

While it doesn't change my perception of the magnitude of the losses you've suffered, Niobe, it HAS changed my perception of the precise nature of the losses you've suffered.

Exactly what that change is, I'm still trying to sort out. But way to come clean in a big way in this very public forum.

painted maypole said...

i'm surprised, but frankly, not worried about it one way or the other. Although I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I would love to hear about that part of your life more, but it IS your blog, write what you want to write.

Lori said...

Boy, I don't check in for a day or so... and look what happens!!

I'm glad you came clean since it sounds like you were feeling the need to (although it isn't really coming clean, since you weren't lying or anything). And just like I promised you I wouldn't say anything when you first mentioned your son to me, I will continue to respect that wish.

High school though... I sure wish you would spill some of your parenting wisdom for those of riding on your heels. But I know, I know... that's not what this blog is about. Sigh...

Libby said...

Wow - I am thrilled that you have a son. Thanks for telling us.

mkv said...

You are one fascinating chick. Or...is there something else you need to tell us? ;)

cinnamon gurl said...

I think I like your blog so much because it's so completely different from mine... where I share everything, too much, on your blog every detail is a treat to be savoured and considered. On the fuzzy reaches of my mind, I remember seeing a mention of your son (maybe an email? I can't remember) and I wondered, but still I'm surprised... though not really.

M said...

Definitely surprised.... would love to know all the ins and outs of him just because I like to everything about my friends! Is good news though...

kate said...

What Julia & Aurelia said! Yes, i am surprised, and very pleased as well.

tipsymarie said...

I am glad he's made you proud.

Smiling said...

Again, another very late comment as I slowly read through your archived posts...

I am pleasantly surprised by your revelation. I love it when a story unfolds in a way that makes complete sense – but only after a narrator juks in a most unexpected way. It makes me question the assumptions and mental leaps I lazily allow myself to make as a reader.

I too love the layers. Regardless if you choose to reveal them, I think they are part of what makes your writing so gripping. What a masterful post!

I too will not mention your son again, but am happy to hear that he is doing well.

Karen said...

Wow. Didn't see that coming.

Deshaine said...

not surprised. at all. it explains more than it reveals.