A Minute to Myself (87)

Daughters and Mothers

I’m sitting at my dining room table reading comments to a posting on blogher (The Shift of the Mommyblogger) about mommy bloggers and mothers who blog and how we adjust how much we say about our children depending on their age and our concerns for their privacy and right to their own lives and their right to a relatively humiliation-free adolescence (as if that’s possible with blogger-moms). And as I read the comments that have accrued during the day, my younger daughter comes downstairs and sits on the couch near where I sit.

She starts to do her homework, after having woken up from a big girl nap (she’ll be 13 soon) because she stays up too late and occasionally needs a nap to catch up (she surely is my girl). Her new phone rings (yes, I got her a fancier phone than mine, but not nearly as expensive as the ones she had been eyeing)—it is her BFF. Now that’s a shock.

But the tone, the tone of the call is not giggly or conspiratorial (yes, they have gotten in trouble at school for their school-girl pranks). There’s a “really” and some actual listening going on. Then she says she has to go and they hang up.

She turns to me and tells me that another friend’s mother just died. And I stop breathing for a moment. And she says, “I feel really bad for her. She was really close to her mother.” And after some “oh sweetie” insight from me, she says “I bet she won’t be at school for the rest of the week.” And we pause; I say that “her life will never be the same again,” and we pause again. But that is as much as she can take, because she asks for dinner and goes to watch Hannah Montana. But I know that this is in her, will stay in her. A friend of hers died last year after a lifetime of fighting cancer and every time we were in temple she would say his name and ask people to pray for him.

Life can be shocking in how it stops us in our moppy paths and forces us, even if for a moment, to create an ethereal connection with someone we never knew, with people we never knew we needed to care about. My heart goes out to her friend, and her friend’s father and family, and the mother for whatever it is that she felt as she left this life.

The beauty of life came back to my daughter and me a half hour after this. She complained that I didn’t know something, she complained that the pencil I gave her was not sharp enough and did not have an eraser. But I went over to her and told her that I love her. And her friend (BFF) just called to ask about homework.

And only I sit here, in a deadened mood, saddened by this woman’s passing, by a mother’s passing, by a daughter’s loss. And it occurs to me that maybe writing our blogs or our postings about our children is not only a legacy of who they were for them to look at when they are older or for us to remember, but they are a legacy of our love for our children. This is another way that we show we love them, by thinking about them, by bragging about them, by analyzing them, by mulling over their choices. Blogging about our children, no, it’s not invading their privacy, it’s invading ours.

So what else is new?



A subject very dear to my heart. So sorry to hear about your daughter's friend's loss. Losing a parent at that age is completely devastating. I lost my dad when I was in 8th grade and it made what is routinely a difficult teen period even that much more so.

My stories and half of my posts on my website are about or inspired by my son (I use a pen name for him). Whether anyone out there reads them isn't essential, it's the record that I'll have when I'm older and that I can pass down to him that's important. That said, I am careful not to reveal things that would embarrass him as there are people out there who visit our site that know him.

One day your daughters will read what you've written and know they've been given a gift. How cool is that?

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

I'm sorry for your loss. Only as an adult have I really gotten closer to my father. Those quiet guys who are at the office so much are hard to know.

I blog to keep sane and in touch with myself, so my ability to calmly talk to them (on occasion) is the gift. But yes, it will be nice to have a record (which reminds me, I need to print out my posts and put them in a binder).


Wow, I'm so sorry. My heart goes out to their family. News like this does help us, at least, to try to live more in the moment.
I am trying so hard to just enjoy what I can from my daughter. She just grew up too fast. I hate the fact that our kids are often forced to deal with so many things we would hope they never have to.


Wow, very touching moments- great to have them and share them too! I guess I understand about our children- I feel that way about a lot of personal info that is too specific for a public blog. It is a frontier and very personal dilemma- something to think about! Thanks for visiting~


It's never easy to hear of a loss and for reasons that are near and dear to each of us, it's even harder to hear of a loss of a mother to a child. It absolutely breaks my heart to think of what that family is going to go through. You're daughter, not to be forgotten, will be going through varied emotions right along with her friend.

I too read that post on Blogher. My initial reaction was to recognize that this is what I saw 'out there' as well, but that maybe I was part of the next generation of mommybloggers who blog about their kids. What I didn't do was look at it with the perspective you just gave...which is a great perspective, one that I will keep in mind as I continue to blog about my kids. (Although I, like JC, have to be careful what I reveal about my son).

Thank you for writing this.


I did love your twist at the end, it is invading our privacy.
It is wonderful to have a record of your life with your children, indeed as much for them as our sake.
Sometimes we all forget the good times and to have something to remember the good times is great.
I cannot imaging how the loss of a parent must feel and how the mother had to let go too, knowing she is dying and leaving children behind.

Life and its twist and blogging shares all.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

The woman who passed was a mother of two girls in middle school; she had been fighting breast cancer for years. A friend of my daughter's, who is good friends with the girl whose mother passed, said that she last saw the mother last week, driving her daughters somewhere. She also told my daughter that she had never seen her with hair or eyebrows or eyelashes. Oh, what a scourge breast cancer has become for our generation--and the next.

Then my daughter told me that the girl had told her friend that she doesn't want to cry when her mother dies, she wants to be strong for her sister (who is a year younger than her). WHY WHY is crying not a sign of strength? WHY is crying not a sign of recognizing, acknowledging, bowing down before tragedy? I'm glad that she broke her promise to self and cried. And I toned down my manifesto to my daughter about the strength in tears, but really, what is this? EMOTIONS ARE POWER!

Blogging. What a life line. What an amazing communication tool. What a wonderful way to find the shoulders we need to lean on, and the ears we need to whisper into, and the voices we need to hear.


This made me cry. (I lost my mother when I was very young, and refused to cry at her funeral, so that I could be "strong".) The statement of "emotions are power" is making me think about strength - to cry or not to cry. And I'm not quite sure I can parse it yet.

I'm positive that if blogs were around when Mom was alive, she'd be spilling all my secrets to the interwebs at large - complete with names, photos, and identifying information of the guilty, er ... innocent, parties. (Of course, that's just my mom. She wanted to sell me to gypsies at one point.)


Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Anni, I'm sorry that I made you cry, but thank you so much for your comment. It's good that you have such a grasp of your mother's personality to recognize her as a true mommy blogger--and appreciate that openness in her.

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