Dear Baby Brittons,
I began blogging many years ago. I don't exactly remember when, but you can easily figure it out yourself. I started writing for many reasons. A few of the top ones being that I just really enjoy writing. It is actually how I often process my own thoughts. Also, I long to live with intention - intentionally transparent, intentionally blessing, intentionally communal, and intentionally processing my life through truth - often accompanied by laughter, tears, ALL CAPS, emoji's and sometimes all at the same time. So when I bring that all to the table of my blog(s), for the few people who actually read it - I hope to bless them by inviting them into community through transparent processing of my little world. We may laugh together, cry together, yell together and reply to each other with all sorts of smiley, winkey faces. It's just what adults do. (Adulting.)
Recently a funny thing happened.
ONE OF YOU - my children - YOU FOUND ME...well, my blog anyway!!!
This year, much to your shame and embarrassment, we opted you out of health class at school. While you were mortified in the beginning, it turned out to be in your favor as you have had time opened up during your school day to just surf the world wide web apparently. You thought it would be fun to Google your mom, and in doing so you stumbled across my blog. Welcome! I'm so glad you are here! We need to talk.
See here's the thing. Parents today (that would be me, your parent) have a new challenge unique to our generation. I'm sure by the time you have children of your own, there will be stacks of parenting books telling YOU how to do it all right. But as for us now, well - we just get to make all the mistakes for your generation to learn from. Hopefully we'll get a couple of things right as well. :) The challenge is the Internet. The whole wide world open to your forming little self. And most recently - Social Media. Oh Social Media. I think about all you little ones are up against in the world of pretty pictures and filtered 140 character life lessons...and well, I cringe. It's hard enough for me - a mature, secure adult (cough cough). I can only imagine what it is like for you.
So anyway, in this new challenge facing parents today - the challenge of Social Media specifically - there are a few things I want to share with you. It's what I'm paid for.
1) Social Media is NOT real life. If you'll just trust me with that, I just saved you many nights of tears and angst.
2) Whatever you put on social media in any form - it will always be there. You think you can delete stuff, but it's just not true. It's all traceable. This should make you consider your words carefully. Written words tend to sting more than spoken words. And the sting runs deep and wide, because someone with not very nice intentions probably took a screenshot of it.
3) There are creepy people on the Internet. Just say no to creepy people. Because well, they're creepy. If you don't know if someone is creepy, ask me or Dad. We promise you won't get in trouble for it. It's not as easy as it was for me as a kid....just staying away from the weird guy in the stalker van with a puppy and candy. Creepy people show up in all sorts of ways online. If it doesn't feel right - it probably isn't. Trust your gut. Trust Dad and I more.
4) You can't believe everything you read on the Internet. Because for every good argument FOR something online, there's 100 good arguments AGAINST it. Choose to move through life forming your own opinions only after much careful thought, prayer and consideration...and obviously what me and your dad tell you. We're always right. And even after all of that, know you may still be wrong. So start over in the process.
5) Humility always serves you well in life. But online - humility is everything. You may not get the most followers, the most likes, or the most friend requests...but you will be humble. And that means people will trust you. And that's just more important than making everyone angry because you needed to stand on your soapbox for half a second.
6) This blog. My blog. Your moms blog. I must admit, your dad and I had a mini heart attack when we realized one of you found my blog at such a young age. (Who am I kidding...you childers AREN'T young. I just can't get over that!) But then I remembered that with every post I have ever written - I've known that one day you may read my words. That you may read my heart. This brings me much fear, and also much joy. There's so many parts of your little world (and mine) that you don't know about. I've written about some of them, so you will learn. There are so many times that I have tripped and stumbled my way through this parenting gig, through life. I try my best, but I know I fail. You will certainly see many of those times in my words. There was so much joy for me in raising you five kids. But our days don't always look joyful....I don't always look joyful. I hope you see a pattern of joy and love for you and all of my life through my words when maybe you didn't see it in my face or my voice. On the flip side of the joy, I hope you see through the struggle of some of my writings in here that I never wanted to settle - and neither should you. We have to fight for joy. We have to fight for life. We have to fight for truth. And I've committed to that. For me AND for you. In short - Mama's not perfect. But you already knew that....
And while you were so embarrassed to find my Instagram posts or stories here of Tooth Fairy's, relationships, Christmas pageants, and dancing in the toilet (wait...maybe I didn't talk about that one....), YOU - the one who found my blog and told the rest of the kids about it - somehow gave me the biggest compliment I have ever received in regards to my writing. You, my child who doesn't love to read, said to me - "I love it, it's way more interesting than books." But then you proceeded to tell me how I ruined you. So there's that.
Don't worry. I keep the super embarrassing stuff off my blog. But maybe don't ever search #babybrittonblurb ..... (I know. I use too many hashtags. Deal.)
Now. If you are finished here, please get back to class. Or at least doing something productive with your free class period.
#ThisIsWhatYouGetForGooglingMyName #TheCloudNeverForgets #PrivacyIsDead #SocialMediaGuidebookForParents