Ok. This is a biggie. Not in the way that some other posts are biggies,
but in a different (and maybe even biggie-er) way.
I have been writing this blog for over seven and a half years.
On it I have shared my innermost thoughts and feelings; my deep secrets; my real-time triumphs and trials.
I have even shared my birth stories, in full detail, in multi-part installments.
I opened up about my postpartum depression as it was happening, when I was in the thick of it.
But, in all of the talk about my children, there is one thing that I have never shared:
This has been a rule for me since this blog’s inception.
It is funny, because I love talking baby names as much as (more than) the next person, but, for me, it never felt right.
When our story was featured in The New York Times in March of 2016 I explained this a bit further
(and, in retrospect, perhaps a bit more naively).
I am very careful about the exposure of my kids on the internet, because I never want my decision to write openly to have a negative impact on them in any way.
(By the way, the way I justify this as follows:
I used to only post photos of my children from behind or with their faces obscured, but that has changed, and now their pictures are out there on the internet. I don’t include them in most articles, and try my best to post cute things like their feet or accessories, but sometimes their faces are visible and I know that.
I have never shared their names on this site and never will. Even in The New York Times article I had the writers refer to my son by the name we call him, but it is not his full legal name.
I am confident and optimistic that I will raise children who will be proud that their story, our story, was able to help thousands of people across this world. I hope that I do.
“…and never will” I said, with such conviction. Just as this blog has evolved, so have I. So have they.
And in writing the book I made the careful and deliberate decision to reveal their names, both given and the names by which we call them. The book seemed so big, and to continue to refer to them by “my daughter” and “my son” seemed off; shortsighted; not right. They have names and I was writing my most true, raw, open story in a hardcover book and opacity no longer seemed appropriate.
So, I wrote the book and used their names and told the stories of how their names came to be and it all seemed so far away…
In one such review, a “Starred Review” by Booklist, the reviewer talks about my family members by name.
my daughter and my son.
I asked them how they felt about me sharing their names on this blog which, presumably, could have a broader reach than the book (though I hope that is not the case!), to be memorialized on the interwebs for all of time. They are seven and a half and four.
I explained their privacy to them, and their rights. I explained to them that when people do a Google search for their names I want articles to come up that have nothing to do with me. I explained that I fully expect them to do incredible things with their lives and therefore these blog posts should be buried so far down that this won’t really matter, someday. They both took the time to think about it and then both told me to go ahead and share.
But, I think that they did a really good job doing so themselves. So, I present to you,
Annabelle Lily and Alexander Beau
(Belle et Beau)
My super star(r)s.