My blog was four years old on Monday.
This was one of the first pictures I posted.
Riley. A little over one. With her magnificent belly. After she fell asleep eating. She was a beautiful baby. And she is an amazing kid. Today a shop assistant gave Piper a strip of paper with smiley stamps on them. Riley said that we should rip it in half so it would be fair. Which I did. And then while I was buying bread at the baker, she wrote down both their names on each of their pieces of paper. Later she drew this of Piper and I having a little nanna nap.
Later on, when Piper was pretending to be a robot, I suggested they might want to have a shower. That wasn’t going to happen. Because as I was told in no uncertain terms, baby robots might rust in the shower. Even super adorable baby robots like this one.
I went through the whole process of dreaming of her, trying to get pregnant with her and finally having her on this blog. And even when I was pregnant, I never really believed it. I mean I did, because pregnancy test. But I believed that I would miscarry her. Or that she would die during the pregnancy or she wouldn’t be born alive. Because I had wanted her so much, I was afraid that the world would take her away. But it didn’t. And she arrived.
Recently, this blog has turned away from blogging about my little ones. Not because they aren’t endlessly amazing. Or because I couldn’t talk about them endlessly. But because at a certain point this place needed to move beyond me as their mother and me as a whole person. And mother is part of that, but it isn’t all of it. And so it changed.
The Shake started in February. But I’d been working on it for a lot longer than that. At least a year or so. I know, I’m slow. And I suppose the change in this blog kind of coincided with that. It was an idea that I had that there was room for a place where people could participate in nuanced conversations about different perspectives. That it didn’t have to be right or wrong. Or sensationalist. That there could be a place that is challenging and interesting and open enough for real debate. Not a blog, but a magazine where I could bring together a bunch of awesome people who shared that idea. I believe people are far smarter than mainstream media or populist websites give them credit for. That’s my idea, anyway.
We’ve published some things that people have called daring or brave. And while I’m flattered, I don’t see it that way. And there’s been plenty of criticism as well. But most people have allowed us the space to grow and develop, and I’m grateful for that. You can’t please everyone, but I hope the space we’ve created is such that anyone can have their voice, if they choose to.
And in some ways, it has allowed me to be even more personal here, in my space. I don’t spend as much time here as I’d like. But I craft things better than I used to. Or at least I like to think so.
There’s a line in Meet Joe Black, that love is when people know the absolute worst thing about you and it’s still ok. And it stuck with me for all these years since I saw that movie. That’s how I feel about this blog. Some people have gone, some people haven’t forgiven the mistakes I’ve made in public for all to see. But some have stayed. And that’s love.
Right back at you, Internet.