This post has been written and in my drafts folder for over a month, hence the Christmas references. I went back and forth about publishing it or not because there are parts of it that could be construed as me being arrogant about blogging. I don’t ever want to come across that way. I am well aware that I am not some super-popular blogger, and I don’t want to ever give off the “internet celebrity” vibe, seeing as how it is quite untrue. However, Ali’s feelings about my blogging is something that people often ask about, so I still felt that this post had some intrinsic value and potential interest.

(Can you tell that I might have a problem with overanalyzation? Just a tiny one. Nothing major.)

So, I shall publish this post, as long as you promise not to shake your head while saying something along the lines of “boy, she must really think SHE’S something.”



“Hey Mommy? There’s something that I’ve always wondered, and I’ve been wanting to ask you for a long time.”

“Sure, honey. What is it?”

“Are we in a story?”

“Well, actually, we are. You know about my blog? It’s where I write stories about what we do and about other things, and people come and read them.”

“So if we’re in a story, are we in real life too?”

“Yes – we’re definitely in both.”

“How do you get out of a story? Do you have to go to heaven to escape?”

“Well, I guess I could quit writing it… do you want me to?”

“No…but we’re in real life too, right??”

“Yes. Don’t worry – I promise we’re real.”

At first, I thought this was a random four year old conversation. But the more I thought about it, I realized that Ali must be finally picking up on the fact that some people seem to know her even if she doesn’t know them, and they always seem to know what she did last week.

Whenever this happens to her (often at Church, or if we meet a blog reader for a playdate or something), she gets very shy and uncomfortable, and I guess she wasn’t quite clear on how exactly these people knew everything about her.

…not that this new understanding helped her deal with her life voyeurs…

The next day, we went to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, Nabeel’s. Ali was admiring the murals on the wall, and began asking our waitress about them. The waitress kindly told her all about them and the man who painted them. While she explained, she addressed Ali and Noah by name.

When she walked away, I explained…

“Remember yesterday when we talked about the stories Mommy writes on her blog? That lady reads them – that’s how she knew who you were. Isn’t that fun?”

(I swear this doesn’t happen often – and I already happened to know that this waitress read my blog.)

Ali immediately clammed up and looked shocked. She seemed even more disconcerted than ever about her real-and-not-real existence.

A few days later, we received several Christmas cards from blog readers, and a sweet little package from one especially awesome reader.

She had hand stitched tiny stockings with all of our names on them, each one having a different design.


Fabulous, no??

Ali absolutely loved these ornaments, and proceeded to play with them for the rest of the night.


I once again tried to help Ali see the positive side of blogging…

“These are from a lady that reads the stories I write on the internet. Isn’t that sweet of her to send them?”



I was relieved that maybe she was coming to terms with the whole idea.

After a little more thought, she added,

“But if she reads all about me on the internet, then why did she put my name on the snowman stocking?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, my FAVORITE stocking is the Christmas Tree one. If she really reads all of your stories about me, why wouldn’t she KNOW that it would be my favorite?!?”

…And that’s how long it takes to turn a kid into a diva.

21 thoughts on “On Being Truman.

  1. This is funny, Rachel. I have to admit when I talk to Ali, I try not to act like I know what her “story life” is. She does usually talk about something you’ve blogged about,though. Since she isn’t in Brandon’s class any more, I haven’t seen her in “real life” in a while, and I think her legs have grown about four inches!

  2. Madyson and Aubrie Kate read blogs with me. We call “yall” our virtual friends…When we get Christmas Cards from Blog friends they get all excited bc “we don’t get to play with them often!!” The wonders of the internet

    1. That’s adorable! How fun would it be to actually meet? I need to show Ali her virtual friends more often, but all of my blog and blog-reading time happens during naptime, so I never think about it.

  3. Wow, I am totally impressed with Ali’s insight with the whole story thing. She is so smart! K just knows that I journal about our activities for the grandparents and far-away family members. I think you are my only not-in-real-life reader. We’ve never had to deal with total strangers knowing her life’s story. :)

  4. Well, if I set you up to think that I was spazzier than I really am, you totally set me up to think you were going to in some way inadvertently/unintentionally be arrogant.

    And you didn’t even pull THAT off!

    There is nothing to be ashamed in this post, Rachel!

    Scout’s honor!

    Love Ali’s response to receiving the “wrong” symbol on her stocking. That would totally be Ezra (my 5-yr-old). Further proof they’re destined for (or would kill) each other.

    One or the other.

    1. I certainly put forth all of my obsessive-paranoid efforts into not being arrogant…and if one is that paranoid about it, they can’t possibly BE it, right?? ..or something like that.

  5. Good thing she doesn’t watch the show Once Upon a Time. She would be even more confused about about the story and real-life differences.

  6. This has happened to me and my kids usually take it in stride and I enjoy meeting people who read my blog or who are my “friends” on social media. However, one time it got weird. We were on vacation in LA when a Twitter “pal” of my husband and myself wanted to meet up. We were only cool with it because she was coming with someone that we know in real life, so really it was a friend of a friend. At the last minute the friend cancelled and we didn’t want to leave the Twitter pal out in the cold, so we met her–the whole family–at a farmer’s market. The interaction just got weird when she started saying things to my kids about them and then started telling us her life story, which was, um, interesting (in a crazy person sort of way). I was sort of freaked out by that.

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