I have been silently vowing to myself that I will spend more blog inches focusing on Elliot and Lilia. Looking back over the posts, they seem sadly neglected, often included in what I'm writing, but without the spotlight actually falling on them, which doesn't really accurately represent the real dynamic in the family. In 'real life', the spotlight is constantly moving, with each child getting their time to shine as necessary. Wishing to redress the balance a little I was all ready, posed like a cat about to jump into the warm spot that you just left on the sofa, to post a plea for other mothers of nine year old boys to come out of the corner that they are rocking in and assure me that the current behaviour I am dealing with has nothing to do with any bad parenting and can all be conveniently blamed on hormones. Then I discovered a very disturbing truth. My oldest child, Elliot, reads my blog. After I scraped my jaw off the floor, mentally told myself off for not keeping more of an eye on precisely what he was looking at on the computer (he's a nine year old boy, I was expecting somewhat inappropriate choices, but nothing this bad) I went and quickly scanned my posts to check that there was nothing written there that would emotionally scar him for life. It turns out that not focusing on him had been a blessing in disguise and no awkward conversations would have to take place. However, I was faced with a dilemma. Just what is it ok to share, with the world at large, about your children? Taking the anxious parent approach of course you could conclude that anything written on here is potential bully material, and so everything is off limits. Certainly there have been things about both Elliot and Lilia that I have been desperate to talk through, but haven't as yet as I'm not entirely sure that it is my right to share that information. Also, having gone through the range of emotions you experience when your children are the subject of a rather vicious and unwarranted attack before, I am naturally hesitant to share anything incase there is anyone else out there who decides it's fun to be equally as vile.
Of course it's not only the crazies that you have to think about, they are thankfully relatively rare. Once you've put information out there for the world to see, you can't take it back again. It may not cause embarrassment or a problem now, but who's to say it won't in the future. I'm not sure any of them would appreciate a potential employer googling them and coming across an old post detailing past indiscretions or acts of violence towards siblings, and I'm pretty sure that Elliot would never forgive me if I put up the video of him strutting his stuff in a frilly pink tutu, as tempting as it is. Although I might as punishment for reading this… what do you think Elliot?
Anyway, until I talk about it with the children, and perhaps coerce them with some chocolate into agreeing to ritual humiliation on a worldwide stage, I thought I would share something about one of them that is relatively small (in physical size anyway), but hugely beautiful. Over on the Cheetahs in my Shoes blog Jenny started making herself search for beautiful things in her life once a week and sharing them. What a fabulous idea, (I thought to myself many weeks ago), and being far less able than she is at actually getting stuff posted, it has taken me until now to finally get the pictures off my camera to share. But, in the half an hour I've had between trips to school to attend Dominic's various appointments today I thought I would forgo lunch in favour of slowing down and appreciating something beautiful (and also thoroughly appreciating a bag of flying saucers which are things of beauty in themselves).
So here is something that Lilia handed me last night, unprompted and without obvious material motivation. It is a thing of beauty indeed.
If you want to find something beautiful and share it with the world (without embarrassing your kids preferably), go and sign up here and let everyone know on twitter using #yourebeautiful
And Elliot, get off the computer and go and do your homework!