I started this blog in 2010 when my new born twins were a few months old. It was my way of connecting with other mothers, of learning from them, of sharing my own stories, thereby having a creative outlet. It was also a way for me to journal some stories for the kids to read one day.
I’m not naturally a storyteller, and my memory can be amnesiac especially when I’m put on the spot, like when Leila asks me to tell her a funny story about her as a baby, or asks me what her first words were, I stare blankly, I “um, umm, mmmm” my way until someone else just steers the conversation elsewhere.
My excuses about having sleepless nights and busy days with twin babies in Chengdu in quite an isolated set up after a tough pregnancy, birth, and first few months just saddens them even more than me not remembering their first words.
Having blogged those first few memories for them was the best thing I could have done for them, and myself!
At around 5 years old, I stopped writing about them. I wanted to protect their privacy. The internet world was exploding and could be a scary place.
And I was sure that my kids would be upset with me sooner or later, for having shared these silly stories about them.
This summer was the moment Leila dove into my blog. She read post by post for at least two days straight. She enjoyed the silly baby moments like how Rahul called Nanu an avocado because avocat in French is both lawyer and avocado, and how she pulled Maher’s nose when he was in a yoga posture. She laughed out loud at the photos.
“Why did you stop writing about us mum?” she
“I wanted to protect your privacy. And I started to work again and to do different things.”
She rolled her eyes, thoroughly unsatisfied with my answer.
“What do you want to be?”
So when you ask a three year old what they want to be when they grow up, you usually expect the usual “fireman, doctor, police,” answers. Leila being Leila, always ahead of her time, used to say, “I want to be famous.”
Now, for Maher and I, of course it was cute and we all laughed, but we almost always began to preach about how one can’t just be famous, you’d have to do something worthy enough to earn fame. “So for example, if you like to sing,” began our lectures on life, “then study it deeply, take lessons, listen to everything you can, learn the piano. THEN you might be able to be famous. Or if you want to be a chef, go and study about it, be excited about it, try new things and repeat until you do it very well…..only then you can think about being famous. And fame isn’t a goal, it’s a consequence.” And so on and on and on. You get the picture.
Our poor little children would listen to us wide eyed while we shut down their dreams in the hopes of teaching them that hard work was the value we cared about. Of course it’s true that hard work matters, but I guess to a 3 / 4 year old it’s not all that exciting and doesn’t really register anyways.
And now “influencer” is a job description anyways.
Today, our kids are almost 13. Rahul hides if I take a photo of him, and the only reason he hasn’t disowned me yet is because he doesn’t have social media to see that I do post his photo on there once in a while.
But Leila continues to let me post photos of her, tell stories about her. In fact she says to me, “Why do you never write about me anymore?” And in the same breath, “Oh it’s because your main focus is your art now. You don’t care about anything else.”
So what do I do? Write and post about them or not? If I write about them, I could be revealing too much, if I don’t, it’s because I’m selfish and don’t care.
I could try to write about one and not the other, but then it’s hard not to include the other one as you can see from this post, and then there’s always the background underlying jealousy of twins and of “tweens” on top of that, no matter what I do or don’t do, and no matter what the initial requests are, someone if not both of them will be upset!
So, I’ll give it a shot and hopefully have some fun doing it, and creating more stories for them to read one day. Also, it’s good practice for me to insert humour into my writing, and when there’s teens in the picture it’s the only way to do it!