Somewhere the Shmata Queen is reviewing her list of things to do and smiling every time she checks one off of her list.
In another place, not so close and yet not so far your favorite grumpy old man just realized that he has been blogging for 14 years now.
The old man is thinking about writing a post about his 14th blogiversary but part of him doesn’t care because it doesn’t really matter.
You might wonder if it is because no one cares about dad bloggers or if it is because no one cares about mom bloggers or bloggers in general.
We might be big on the Internet but in the real world most people don’t know who we are or care if we get one pageview or a million.
They don’t care if you say you blog with integrity, do half naked Thursday or have the coolest podcast. Doesn’t matter if you are vlogger, Instagram or Pinterest genius either.
You’re just one more person making noise on social media and chances are it is not loud enough to convince people to take a moment to read, follow, respond or react.
Impotence is a wonderful thing, especially when you have almost a million followers and the only three comments you get are the guy who says he makes a $27 an hour on Google, the person who posts about online Viagara and the comment you get from some random person on a post you wrote eight years ago.
We Were Young
Old grouchy men like myself remember blogging about new babies, diapers, sleepless nights and the first night of kindergarten.
We remember when blogging was new and exciting and we couldn’t believe how cool it was to see how social media made the world seem small.
Sometimes we’d read posts by people who we thought must be old because their kids were in high school and wonder what that would be like knowing it was so far off it was practically impossible to envision.
It never occurred to us that we weren’t just younger, we were young.
Can’t say we are old now, but we are older and experience has made us jaded, callous and hard about some things.
We blogged about how strange it felt to move from our thirties into our forties and now in the final year of the forties we realize how young we really were.
The boy who was 3.5 when I started is has a deep voice, facial hair and almost looks me in the eye.
He’ll be 18 this year and has long since offered instructions to not use his name or picture without permission.
The girl whose early life is chronicled within the blog posts has offered the same instruction. She has told me she hopes there are no embarrassing baby, toddler or little kid tales floating around.
“You rant on Facebook like a crazy 20-something year old kid.”
I tell him that I am good with that and that it will help keep me young.
“Nah, it will just hurt your credibility if you do nothing but criticize the president.
“Not as much as refusing to criticize him hurts yours. You might as well drop to your knees.”
Those are fighting words for him but I simplify things.
“I am not going to apologize. I believe in what I have said and written. You can unfriend me or stop reading. No one makes you read anything I post here or publish anywhere. You show up at your own risk.”
We go back and forth for a few more moments and I ask him to provide a reason not to be angry.
“I vehemently disagree with most policies and find his manner as welcoming as catching a tooth. He is awful and the refusal of the right to hold him accountable for anything is shameful. We’re all going to pay a price for his time in office.
Take My Hand
Somewhere in the mix of 10,000 posts is a letter in which I offer my hand.
“I know you are nervous and uncertain, so take my hand and we’ll figure it out together.”
During the time that has passed the great contradiction of life has continued to present itself. There are more reasons to be nervous and fewer to take seriously.
Age and experience lead to wisdom and a certain understanding about what we can or cannot control.
There is appreciation that our kids are smart and standing mostly on their own and frustration that they sometimes don’t do as we think they should.
The time approaches when they will truly be out of the house and the choices of the past will be of the past and offer less influence on the presence.
It is a strange feeling to recognize how soon this moment will come. A sense of dread and anticipation.
Confirmation of a job well done and a question of whether we were too effective. Did it have to come so soon and with such disdain for our feelings as parents.
The joy of watching them is sometimes bittersweet, but always outweighed by happiness.
So we roam the present and listen for the echoes of the future.