Writing Love Stories

Figuring out how to write about my kids can be tough. In one sense, their story is my story. I have a lot invested in them and pretty much everything that happens to them has an effect on me. Much of it involves me. But, in another even more, you know, accurate sense, their story is their own. Walking the line between respecting their privacy and being able to write about my own life (which is usually intricately intertwined with theirs) can be tricky sometimes.

Plus, it is so fun to write stories about them and it makes me sad when I can’t write about something funny they did.

As they have gotten older, their stories have evolved from being ours to being theirs. I’m trying to respect this and make sure that I am not co-opting their beings unless I am doing it for a good reason. One of the good reasons I write about them is to keep a record for them. I hope that they will read this blog sometime and be able to see how amazing I have always found them all to be. I’ll co-opt for that.

Another reason is to educate or give support and sometimes I’ll write about my kids in order to get support or advice. Then there are times when I write just to entertain. Although there are some damn entertaining stories that haven’t passed my Older Kid Privacy Threshold Test, which irks me to no end.

I’ve always said that I write as if the person I am writing about is reading over my shoulder. That doesn’t mean that I won’t write things that will upset people, but I only write things that I am okay with the subject reading with my name attached as the author. At this point in my life, that means I don’t write things about my kids that would embarrass them or make them sad.

This is one of the reasons why you see less of my kiddos here on this blog. Well, that and because they are in school more often than they are at home, which means that it is their teachers who are probably getting the really good stories about them—although I do prefer that they don’t blog about my kids. Can you imagine? Like, http://thereisthiskidnamedQuinninmyclassOMG.blogspot.com

As it follows, there is also a lot more about me here lately. I’m hopeful that I come across as a bit of a narcissist because of this. (<—sarcasm)

But mostly I’m hoping that I can give my kids a written love story to them. Because that is the ultimate reason behind what I do here.


This post was inspired by Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robison. Robison does an excellent job walking that line of respecting his son as he manages to write funny, charming, and interesting stories about him. Even more relevant to my parenting experience, both father and son are autistic. Join From Left to Write on March 12 as we discuss Raising Cubby. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

18 thoughts on “Writing Love Stories

  1. It’s a really hard line to walk. But you do it better than me. I have definitely written stuff that has ticked off my wife or a family member or two. I always try as humanly possible to give an honest picture. But not everyone is as comfortable with the openness that I am. I know my last post depending on what circle you are in in my life it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify one or more of the unnamed former friends. But I’m a writer. I express myself through writing. I try not to be mean or hurtful. As I try not to be mean or hurtful in real life. I do the best I can, that’s all any off us can do. As a long time reader of your blog I can say it is filled with open and honest expressions of love. They will see that!

  2. Beautiful & so true. Writing has become more of a challenge lately and I’ve wondered if I have a right to write about my son. But I write for the same reasons :)

    Also – looks like a great book. I’ll look for it.

  3. Pingback: Book Club Day: Raising Cubby by John Elder Robison

  4. I know this exactly. It’s why I have slowed my writing. I can’t find that line because of just what you said – things are so intertwined. And my world has become a lot more public lately so what I write has impact in other places. So maybe the more about me is the way to go.

    • I recommend developing an obsession with a small, absurd animal and blog about said animal wearing funny hats.

  5. That is part of why I stopped writing. My oldest had requested that I not post about her anymore – when a teacher asked her about something funny I had written. She also asks to preview any picture I want to post on FB. She’s 11 and I get the whole privacy thing so I do honor her requests as well as that of her sisters. My youngest has become fascinated with watching vlogs (in particular this one random families – seriously random family, we’re not stalkers, my daughter loves the tutorial vlogs and considers your daughter her BFFFFFF+ – lol)

    As the kids grow older, it’s a whole new world into itself – no one talks about the choas of tween years, and other stuff we’ve dealt with this year, but you also have to respect the kids wishes too. Afterall – they are the one’s who will control which Home you get put into when your older (payback and all that :) )

    Keep writing – I love reading about all of your adventures (and btw – my youngest just joined a chess club).

  6. My kids are still young and just excited to see their pictures on the computer.

    But honestly, this is really important to think about. The line is going to be different for every family, but I do hope that bloggers – especially those that talk about people who may not be able to talk for themselves – think carefully about everything they post.

  7. My kid blog is pretty much written for and read by family members so I don’t have the whole public issue, but it’s on the internet and it could totally be found by my kids’ thirteen year old friends someday. So there are some stories (usually about poop) that I don’t post, even though they’re so funny.

    Like you, I also think of it as a love letter. Part of what kept me blogging when my kids were little and life was extra crazy was the idea that if something (God forbid) happened to me they would have this extensive documentation of how much I loved them.

  8. I’m struggling with this, too–my story versus their stories. This is why I’m trying to start afresh but am having a tough go of that, too.

    Hey, what do you think of the APA getting rid of the Asperger’s label? ;)

  9. I don’t have too much on my blog about my older son anymore, just because you really can find anything on the internet and kids can be mean. He gets a kick out of having his opinion included in a movie review, but that’s about as much as we do with any sort of detail.

  10. How did you get inside my head? Seriously, I love this post and I will happily read more about you as long as you keep writing. And I really, really hope there is a new blog started called thereisthiskidinmyclassnamedQuinnOMG.blogspot.com…

  11. Thanks for your thoughts and insight into my son and RAISING CUBBY. Woof! I just answered your questions on the lefttowrite document and I’m ready for more, after this evenings event

    • Fantastic! I can’t wait to read the answers. Thanks so much for this wonderful book. I really enjoyed it! Woof!

  12. I love your perspective on this. I write about my kids, a lot, and when I’ve really thought about why I do it and answer that question with brutal honesty, my reasons seem a little more selfish to me than this. I really loved this book, too.

  13. Marrying a man with three special needs children effectively brought my ten year blogging career to a screeching halt. I love them too much to embarrass them; also, my three kids are now old enough to care about what I write. But I totally get it. I am in stitches already this morning and there is not a thing I can say about it. Except maybe OH MY FUCKING GOD THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN. AGAIN.

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