I’ve put a lot of thought into how to compose this particular post. It’s a tricky one. It feels a bit like jumping hurdles while juggling knives, blindfolded in a minefield, actually. But it needs to be done.
Before we go any further though, there is something that must be addressed before all else: I love my child. I will do anything for my child. I would never harm my child. Nor would I ever strive to make things unnecessarily difficult, stressful, unhappy, or complicated for my child. That wonderful, amazing, precious girl is the frosting, sprinkles, ice cream and lit up birthday candles on the cake of my existence and I always, ALWAYS do right by her.
My child does not read this blog. She does not read Scope’s blog either. Yes, she follows our blogs, but only because when she started her own blog a year ago, she wanted to follow someone (because bloggers do that) and she didn’t know any other bloggers she could follow yet. So, she followed us and we followed her. And that is where her bloggy connection with us ends.
She created a grand total of three posts (all about her favorite film maker) and collected four followers (Scope, me, and two friends from school) before she lost interest and abandoned her blog. Blogging just isn’t her thing, just like Facebook isn’t her thing and texting isn’t her thing. She is much more at home with her nose in a book.
Despite the concrete fact that my child will never read what I am about to write, I have no choice but to say the following to her here:
My dear beloved Wednesday, if by some freak reason you ever find yourself reading this sentence, STOP IMMEDIATELY. What follows is not for your eyes. You are not welcome to read beyond this point. I love you dearly. (Now, please go clean your room!)
Okay. Now that that is out of the way, let’s move on.
Some of you might have noticed that both Scope and I shut our blogs down briefly last week. I saw that there was a sweet theory floating around that we were busy concocting snazzy matching blogs. Awwwwww. You have no idea how much I honestly wish that were true! :-) The reality though is that something happened. Or, I should say, someone happened.
I’m not supposed to name names or describe descriptions, but I will tell you that the person who has previously stalked me on my eBay account and hounded me on Facebook, etc, etc, etc, has finally found this blog and has decided to start lurking here. Honestly, I’m not surprised by that. After the eBay and Facebook incidents, I figured it was just a matter of time until he popped up here too. He seems to like lurking wherever I go. However….
This is the internet. People are free to read what they will. So, if the lurker wishes to stay, that’s fine. (Who knows? Maybe he will learn a thing or two and start to understand a certain 15 year old girl, who chronically mystifies him, a bit better.) I am not interested in playing games with the lurker. He can read or not, I really don’t care. I’ve got much bigger fish to fry. And 500 blog posts to censor!
You see, the lurker doesn’t like my blog, so he emailed it to several really, really, really, really, REALLY important and powerful people. (Really). To make a long story short--and because I’m not allowed to talk about it--now there are a few rules I have to follow when blogging. These rules have been set by someone else to make my blog “safe” for my 15 year old child to read.
(Although, as discussed above, she does NOT read it.)
(Confusing, I know.)
To abide by the rules, one by one, all my blog posts are being edited and re-published with the following changes:
1. All previous mentions of the lurker have been deleted. (And after this post, I do not plan on mentioning the lurker here again.)
2. All previous status updates regarding a certain legal situation have been erased.
3. All previous four letter words have been replaced with words such as heck, rear, darn, fiddlesticks, and meanie. (Although, I want to point out that my child is not three and any time she gets online or turns on the TV or walks down the hallways of her high school, she is exposed to language far, far worse than anything I ever said here.)
4. All “flirty”-ness has been hacked away. Or at least I have attempted it. (Admittedly, this is the toughest make-your-blog-Kindergartener-safe law to abide by because the definition of “flirty” is incredibly subjective.)
5. All previous mentions of my one-in-a-trillion spinal cord malfunction which I was expected to not survive but walked away from with permanent nerve damage and a unique diagnosis that actually made my Neurologist famous (yes, really) in the medical community have been obliterated.
One by one, as I go through them, scrubbing and scouring, the 500 blog posts will return with nary a hint of anything that I was told would “scare” or offend…. well…. anybody.
I have strong emotions about this, of course. I mean, censoring a blog that maybe a whopping—ohhh—dozen people read seems a bit hypocritical for someone who is so fanatically fond of talking about protecting his own Constitutional rights. To the lurker, on this point, I would just like to say “how we treat those whose opinions we don't agree with says more about us than about them.”
(Which I think translates to ‘peekaboo, I see you’ in the language of Blogese.)
(If the lurker thinks about it long enough, he’ll get it.)
I have concerns with what has happened, of course. I do not think that making my blog Sesame Street approved has any impact on my child who never reads it. The only person it impacts is me. However, I am choosing to make the changes…. with the exception of one: My nearly-lethal spinal cord trauma.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about this during a lot of sleepless nights lately and I have decided to eventually re-post my writings about my blood clot because it is nobody’s business but mine if I want to discuss it here or anywhere. A blood clot the size of a toddler’s fist ruptured in my spinal cord. I survived. I lost all feeling in half my body. I incurred painful nerve damage that will likely never disappear. I fought for a long, long time to re-learn how to walk and become independent again. And, one day a year, on the anniversary, I mention how nice it is to be alive on my blog.
Why shouldn’t I?
If I had died, don’t you think that on the anniversary, my child would want to express her sadness in some way? And who on earth could ever possibly deny her that? So, then why is expressing happiness at being alive any different? The suggestion that celebrating my survival by writing a blog post one day a year might “scare” my child and make her remember what happened is infuriating. The suggestion that I ought to try to hide all hints of it from my child, even though we still live with it every single day, is offensive. Should we tell breast cancer survivors not to wear pink ribbons because it might “scare” their children? I think we would get the stuffing kicked out of us if we did!
No amount of pretending things are normal will ever erase what happened from my child’s memory. It is a very real part of her, just like it is a very real part of me. Nothing will ever change that. It is our history. It is what we have lived.
My child experienced nearly every step of my recovery with me. While I was in the hospital, she made me get well posters with her friends in school. She came by with my mom and dad to visit me every afternoon. She ran up and down the hospital hallway cheering out loud for me as I took my first steps with my big, metal walker. If that was really such an inappropriate thing for a child to witness, I would think that someone in the hospital would have asked for her to be removed. But they didn’t.
They pointed out my progress to her on the MRI pictures and she would squeal, “Mommy! You’re doing so good!” They high-fived her as she tagged along to physical therapy with me. Once, they even let her hold my safety harness and walk me “like a puppy” as I was learning to walk without the use of the walker. She was delighted! How many kids get to say they walked their mom like a dog?! ;-)
Maybe I am being a little oversensitive about what was said. But I think I have a right to be! I did the very best I could do to raise my baby and recover from the life-changing health trauma, simultaneously. That was NOT easy for either of us. And, frankly, I think I did extremely well. But no matter what I say or don’t say, no matter what I blog or don’t blog, our history will never evaporate. It’s a part of me. It’s a part of my child. It’s part of what makes us who we are.
Defeating death and paralysis, no matter how you do it, via blood clot, cancer, or something else, IS something worth celebrating. No-one can EVER take that right from me. I earned it.
*stepping down off the soap box*
Alrighty, lurker. That's it. I’m done acknowledging you here. Please stop putting all your free time into searching for posts containing the words “lawyer” and “bag” on this blog (I have a tracking code. I can see exactly what you are doing here and when.) Surely, you have better things to do. Like maybe fixing your relationship with a certain teenager?…. Just a thought.
To all my regular readers: Fun posts are in the works despite the new rules. Don't worry. I even have some hilarious old family pictures from the 70's to show you soon!
© Coracabana 2012