Mommy Bloggers Jr.

Mommy Bloggers Jr.

I had a friend from out of town come to visit me this weekend. While I was waiting for “her,” I wondered: at what point does a blog become a mommy blog, by mommy bloggers jr? Is it when you start blogging about peeing on little plastic sticks? Is it when you start asking the Internet to refer a good OBGYN? Is it when you slap your official “It’s a…” jpeg on your homepage?

No. Chill out already! This hasn't become a mommy blog, yet.

When do I get to join the club and start soliciting mommy blogger advice? Is there a junior membership? A mommy blogger equivalent to a Brownie Girl Scout?

Today I had to make a decision. Lord help me, I have no idea if it was the right one.

I was surfing “the latest reconnect with friends website,” clicking on links, and flipping through pictures. Each thousand-word-tale was some adventure or party, some perfect day or goofy pose. Its neat to see what each person picks as their shining moment to show the world, the things they are most proud of.

I wandered to the site of a woman who I went to school with but knew only by name. Cute pictures. Cute kid. Each picture accompanied by a comment filled with pride.

They’re the same pictures our parents took of us, and we (will) take of our kids. First missing tooth, first day at school, first yearbook picture. It doesn’t matter who’s kid is in the picture, who took the picture, where it was taken.

When you look at that picture you don’t see someone else’s kid, someone else’s memory. Your mind doesn’t absorb the details of the picture so much as your mind’s eye reaches back through your own memory. The feeling of running your tongue over that first bloody hole in your gum. The day that someone bent down and gave you the gift of your written name on a piece of construction paper cut out in the shape of a pencil. “This is yours. Let me show you, this is the letter…”

I can still feel the paper, wrinkled slightly, and pinned to my shirt.

That’s why we take pictures; to catch that moment. That’s why we share them with others; to help hang on to that emotion which is specific to that time and place. That’s why we stop to look at a picture we don’t belong to; to remember the moments that we do belong to.

I didn’t even see it until after I had gone on to read another website.

I missed the details of the picture I was looking at, because I was lost in the details of my own memory. Big black Sharpie-marker-letters, first name, last name, construction paper, safety pin, big smile, photograph, uploaded on the internet. Mom’s pride and joy.

I had to flip back at the site and stare. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing: First Name, Last Name, Big Smile, posted within one click of the page that listed the city and state that mom (and kid) live in.

The Internet makes the world smaller. Talk to your friend who is serving in the army in Kosovo. Make friends with a penpal in China. Send pictures of your pride and joy to Grandma on the east coast. The Internet brings everyone within your reach, but it makes it difficult to figuratively lock your doors at night.

I was so shocked. I paniced for her! I had to stop myself from yelling out loud at my keyboard to tell her “Look out! You forgot to crop your kid’s name out of this picture before you posted it!” As if I were literally warning her that someone left the swimmingpool gate open.

This is the part where I had to back up and say “Not the Mama!” I don’t know her. Can I email her and scream that the sky is falling? Will she think I’m a stalker? Will I terrify her into changing her phone number, and getting a PO box? Will she think I’m trying to tell her how to raise her kid? Am I being paranoid, assuming something horrible will happen to her kid? Is it really a big deal to post your kid’s picture on a website? Did she intend to crop the name out of this picture, but simply forget? Would she appreciate the reminder? What do I say to her?

Do I really even have the right to say anything?

I sent the email. I guess I’d rather be a stalker than an enabler.

Where are the lines drawn?

UPDATE:
A couple of days later she emailed back and said thanks, then she took the picture down.