Why I Blog

Because I don’t like to scrapbook. Just kidding. Well, sort of. I do not like to scrapbook but that is not the only reason I blog. More on that later.

Friends who know what my daily/weekly routine is like often ask how I find time to blog and, furthermore, why I do it in the first place. After all it takes time that could be directed toward more practical and necessary tasks like doing laundry, ironing, scrubbing my endlessly dirty floors and floorboards, doing laundry, painting the garage, preparing a weeks worth of meals for my hungry family, and did I mention doing laundry. So I have been thinking about that question. Why do I blog?

I have never been one to put myself ‘out there’ so to speak. I suppose my inner circle would consider me a somewhat vulnerable person, an open book of sorts, sometimes forward and bold. But those who know me more casually might consider me shy or even withdrawn. I am off the charts introverted and am relatively private, so unless I am super comfortable with others and feel understood by them I pretty much keep to myself. There are certainly exceptions to this, like going head to head with a provider over Wil’s care or services. Or “pushing back,” in any arena, when I feel a service has been less than adequate. An old friend once joked that I had quite the “sense of justice.” I dunno. I am a mixed bag I guess. Maybe that is why I like blogging. It really satisfies that very introverted part of me by allowing me the space to sit down alone and “think out loud” while, at the same time, giving me the platform to write about one of the things I am most passionate about, my family, and in that, parenting a child with Down syndrome.

I use the term “write” lightly because I am not a writer. There are so many great writers in the blogoshpere, like Ree at Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, and Jennifer at Pinwheels, and Tom over at Narrow Ridge. These folks are really good writers, they have some good stuff to say, they are articulate and thoughtful and actually know proper sentence structure. My sentence structure stinks and I write like I talk which is not always clear.

But I put my thoughts and the life of my family to “paper” anyway because I feel compelled to do so. It is a bit narcissistic in many ways – as if anyone, other than some extended family of course, gives a rip about what is going on in our world. My kids have brought this out in me though. They have, by the very nature of who they are and how they impact me, challenged me to talk. To break some myths and tell the truth, as I see it, about parenting, raising a child with special needs, having a house full of boys, and living a less than perfect life as a Christian who desperately needs God’s grace to get through every single day knowing, as one friend with a medically needy child said to me, “there is another one pressing hotly on it’s heels.”

And the scrapbooking thing? I really don’t like it. Never have, never will. Sorry Lark. :) I actually have scrapbooking paraphernalia stored away somewhere with my kids baby photos scattered at the bottom of the box. I still have not completed the photo book of my oldest child. If it matters I do live everyday with a moderate amount of guilt over this. However, as I have thought about why I blog I have come to realize why I don’t like scrapbooking. (this is in no way a judgement on any of you scrapbookers out there, I know there are some really great and “real” albums being put together, it’s just not my thing.) My general feeling concerning scrapbooks is that they tell a story that leaves out the real, tough, and messy nuggets of vacation, day-to-day life, births, parties, what-have-you. The best pictures are chosen for the page with cutesy quotations and stories to go along. And me, well I find the stuff that happens in between more interesting, or at least a better picture of real life with three small children. Like the screaming that takes place for 70% of the road trip, the rotavirus that hits after you set out on a day trip to the mountains, having to walk the parking lot of a restaurant - because one baby will not sit through the meal – while hubby crams his food down, pays the bill and gathers the other two discontent kids, the meltdowns over not being able to get on certain rides at an amusement park (can anyone say sensory overload?), the incredible difficulty of trying to get little ones to sleep in unfamiliar environments when they are already overtired. These are the things that generally don’t go in the photo book but make up a pretty good chunk of life with small kids. So to me a scrapbook, with all it’s pretty borders, cutouts, framed pictures and cute captions is like a pretty tapestry. But our life, well, it is more like the underside of that pretty tapestry. Not so pretty, not so perfect, and not so organized. That is why I like blogging – it is a great way to document all of those crazy, mind-numbing parenting moments. And to do so without craft scissors, two-sided tape, a box of pictures and a blank page begging for a creative touch.

Blogging is also a great way to document all of the sweet unexpected moments and conversations. I find that blogging makes me pay attention to the nuances of every day more than I once did. There are many things that take place in our home that would have once either rolled off my back or caused me to go stick my head in a very deep hole. But now I think, “I need to note this. Or write about that. Or tell this story.” Hopefully as my boys age and inevitably stumble across this blog they will not go seek out that hole in which to stick their heads.

So, that’s why I blog. Aren’t you glad I got that all sorted out for you? Now I really have to go do some laundry.


Kristen Triplett said...

Just wanted to let you know that some people that aren't extended family care about whats going on in your world :) I totally understand the scrapbooking thing; I can't cut a straight line to save my life! By the way, I enjoyed the article that you referenced in your last post. Reading your blog has taught me to see special needs children (and adults!) as the wonderful blessings from God that they are.

waldenhouse said...

Awww, thank Kristen. We actually consider our Gville friends as part of our extended family anyway! Thanks for reminding me why. :) And your last comment makes blogging completely worth while! Thank You!

Tom said...

No quite sure why I blog... I enjoy writing but am also a deeply introverted person. Hate pot lucks. :)

Thanks for the kudos on my writing; my mom was a teacher so I think it's trickled down.

I've never tried scrapbooking, and suppose, if I ever did, it wouldn't be the "manly" thing to confess to the world. :)

Whatever the reasons, I'm happy to know you through your blog.

Lark said...

No offense taken! :o) Though one day I may convert you through digital scrapbooking. It'd be a great way to print out and make a blog book one day.

I purposefully take pictures of all the everyday stuff and have pages of the kids reading books, playing dress up, and throwing tantrums (everyone loves that one). I always see my albums as ways I can share my story with my future generations as well as share my faith and how God worked in my life.

I love reading your blog because I want to keep up with you guys and love to see your children grow. Plus it's entertaining. Keep it up!

waldenhouse said...

Tom - your welcome and thanks, I'm happy to know you as well. A scrapbooking man? hmmm, yes, if you try it I vote keep that little hobby to yourself. :)

Thanks Lark - you are ever the sales person and if anyone could convert me to scrapbooking it would be you!

Anonymous said...

After just spending a glorious weekend in the middle of the blessed WaldenHouse chaos, I can truly attest to the love, nurturing, encouragement, and fun described within the commentary.

As a 'long distance' grandmother who isn't able to be part of the daily routine, the Blog is my connection to these precious little boys and their devoted parents whom I admire and love.

Jen said...

Hey - missed you last night - know you've had a busy couple of days!!
I have to disagree with you on one issue - I think you write extremely well! :) But I agree about blogging being a great outlet for introverts! :) TTYL!

Spitmonkey said...

I'm with ya on the scrapbooking. I enjoy digital scrapbooking in little chunks at a time (I consider web design and all that my form of digital-art... that is enough for me!) Maybe in another time when I don't have curious cats and even more curious toddlers will I try it again.

Hehehe, who are we kidding, I'm never going to try it again. *lol*

waldenhouse said...

Thanks Alice. And thank you Jen for your compliments.
Yes, Lynn, we will likely never scrapbook - there is no use fantasizing about it!

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