Saturday, 9 March 2013

Looking over my shoulder for a beginning



I have just read the most beautiful, inspiring blog (www.edspire.co.uk) and it has convinced me that I have to finally let go of my vanity and get back to writing about my children again.  When I was pregnant with Charlotte I started writing a pregnancy, and then a baby diary, on a baby website. 
This suited me perfectly, and I made some friends for life who had babies around the same time.  Blogging was this background noise to me, it felt much more professional than what I was doing, and I’d found a kind of narrative on this website so I stuck with it.  And it continued on in different diaries for Harry and through Kitty’s pregnancy.  Then my dad died and writing just became this huge scary thing. I felt like if I wrote about the grief then it would swallow me up and I’d be lost to the children.  And with three, it was obviously very easy to claim lack of time, particularly as I was working freelance and one of my dad’s executors, and then went back to work part-time when K was one.   All of these things worked very well to help me put it off.

But recently I went back to the baby website, mid back-up panic, and found that it had moved on as I suppose these things do.  The whole community part of it seemed to have collapsed and my diaries were really hard to find.  And I started cutting & pasting them, & was obviously reading them as I went along.  And although parts of them are hard to read and excruciating (severe brain-melt syndrome), there’s so much in there that I’d completely forgotten and is such an incredible memory of their babyhood.  It made me quite sad that there’s this gap for Katie’s baby days, who has been such a sweet and tolerant baby, and suddenly has become this cheeky, independent toddler.

The blog I have just read was a lady with twins Katie’s age, who has just lost her 9-month old daughter, and it was just achingly beautifully written, and I’ve spent most of the past day in a wrung-out state at her bravery and loss, combined with a wretchedness that I’ve failed to give my children one of the things that is in my power to give them: a record of their childhood.  And now they are a bit older, it’s startlingly obvious to me that one of the things they love best is being regaled with what they were like as babies.  So now I need to start putting that right. 

Of course I then completely stalled on trivia like what blogging online space to use, what to call the blog, whether to be anonymous, and a general worry over my lack of technical knowledge.  I know these to be stupid, side issues which I can iron out along the way (can’t I??), so after a day of scraping my imaginative depths (I would make a useless journalist, and at work always had to rely on the press department to provide press releases with remotely gripping headlines), have settled on ‘Mumbling Wildly’.  Which is supposed to be multi-purpose pun, on ‘Mum-bling’, ‘Oscillating Wildly’ being one of my favourite Smiths tracks, and mumbling being my general state of being.  I so often forget basic words mid-conversation.  These things are probably much better un-explained …

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