The snow flew strong and yet strangely benign, almost immaterial on the scale of driving conditions. Like driving in a snow globe. There was quiet in the backseat, as one child watched season two of Doc McStuffins on my phone while the other was immersed in a platypus episode of Wild Kratts on an old iPod. My husband and the eldest were in the other car, so it was just me, two kids, and a pair of headphones in the swirling snow with 100 miles of Interstate 89 ahead of us.
I was thinking about writing a blog post explaining why I haven’t posted in a week. No phone and no Internet due to a misunderstanding with the phone company, I thought, strangely relaxing if it hadn’t been for all the work calls I had to cancel. Who was I explaining to, really? No one had noticed I hadn’t posted in a week. The few hundred readers who come here have come to accept that I’m not so regular anymore. And then it hit me, as surely as the day shortly after my 27th birthday that I realized – also on a long drive – that I was ready to have a baby.
It’s been over for some time.
I’ve held on longer than most, a dinosaur of old-school personal blogging in a world of Tweets and Pins. The blog is dead, someone once wrote, long live the blog. I’ve seen bloggers fall by the wayside, disappear, reappear, even die. I held on because I had something to say here. But I haven’t said much here in awhile. I started this blog to be honest, brutally honest, and for a long time I was. But then my kids grew older, and I couldn’t be honest about me without revealing pieces of them. My posts became more and more shrouded, shielded, if you will. It was absolutely the right thing for my family, but it turned this blog into a place to tell sweet, funny stories about my kids. It became just what I didn’t want to write. Navel gazing has lost its appeal, but navel gazing is all that’s left with kids as old as mine are.
I’ve loved blogging. I’ve loved meeting so many beautiful people and having a room of my own. I started this blog when Benjamin was 10 months old – still nursing. That’s almost six years ago, or, to put it another way, the length of 36 middle-school romances. That’s a century in blog years. However, for the past year or so, I’ve been using my writing to speak meaningfully in other ways and in other venues.
This is not to say I’ll never write creative nonfiction or even memoir again. I’m writing essays now and then when I have a story to develop into a longer piece. If you want to keep an eye on what I’m up to, you can like my Facebook page, where I always post links to what I write. I’ll maintain this website, so you can also check in on the Stuff I Wrote section. I may even post links here on the blog from time to time, so that it blasts out to those of you who’ve subscribed through email.
It feels so strange to be writing this, even as it feels absolutely right. I didn’t understand when so many others wrote similar posts. You can’t hold onto the past. It’s a wrenching truth of the human condition. We grow older, and if we’re lucky, that means we change and find new ways of self-expression.
In the words of one of Benjamin’s favorite songs, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.”
Thank you, all of you who’ve spent so many hours here, who’ve had my back and held my hand. I would be remiss if I didn’t tip my hat here to Chani, whose spirit was threaded through so many blogs. You all know where to find me if you want to shoot me an email, and I hope you will keep in touch.
I won’t pretend I’m not crying here. There was a breathtaking intensity to it all, and I wouldn’t give those days away for anything. I can’t believe it’s over, that I’m ending it, just as I couldn’t believe I was breaking up with my first great love when I was sixteen, even as I felt myself doing it. Just because I was still in love didn’t mean it wasn’t over.
It’s been a wonderful ride. Thank you.