The Date: June 22, 2023.

Ali, sixteen years old and going through quite the sensitive stage, sits down with a huff.  She reaches into mid-air, and with a flick of her index finger, turns off her Projected-In-Mid-Air Computer (PIMAC), and then glares at me.

Ali at Sixteen a

I look up from my automated knitting needles with a questioning look.  The needles keep knitting away.

“So.  I was just reading some of your BLOG that you used to write.  You know, before everyone just had TwitterCams on all the time?”

“Yes… and?  Did you enjoy the photos?”

“Photos?  What are photos?”

“You know – those things that look like videos except that they don’t move?”

“OH – THAT’S what you call those archaic things.  Yeah.  I enjoyed them.  Except for the obvious fact  that you loved Noah WAY more than you loved me.”

She folds her arms and pouts.  Then she tilts her head, thinks that she’d like a Coca-Pepsi (because they will have merged by then), and the AndroidMaid automatically brings one into the room, poured over a dry-ice-looking substance that immediately turns all drinks into smoothies.

(Because that’s what a perfect future looks like – carbonated smoothies.  That are entirely made from vegetables.  But taste like coke.)

“Why do you say that, honey?”

“Well.  After I turned five, you basically quit talking about me.  Except for your ridiculously self-important SCHOOL posts.”  (she rolls her eyes, then turns her head slightly toward her slushy drink.  A perfectly sized sip jumps up into her mouth.)  “How unnecessary – now all the information we need is just automatically dumped into our brains from our GoogleSchool Connection.  It’s a shame that you wasted all that time.  ANYWAY.  You quit talking about me, but you just gushed on and on about HIM.  You even let him “guest post” for you!!  Those posts were particularly inane.”

“Well, honey, there may have been a reason for that.  Don’t you think?”

“What, that you loved him more?!?!  I think that’s clear.”

We both look to the right.  Twelve-Year-Old Noah is on the other side of the room, clearly in combat in his “Call of Duty: The 2015 Intergalactic War” Virtual Reality Game.  He keeps shooting and ducking, shooting and ducking.

“Dang IT!! Mars got blown up again!!”

Completely oblivious.

“No.  Perhaps you wouldn’t want all your stories told.  I mean, it’s cute to talk about poop and other embarrassing things that toddlers say and do (like the time when you were two and kept loudly asking questions about my “bumps” at the restaurant), but at some point, I figured you deserved your privacy.”

“What?? No.  You should have talked about us both the same amount.  It’s only fair.”

“I’ll give you an example.  You know that embarrassing story we like to tell about you?  The one about you sticking your hand in my face and excitingly telling me to smell it?”

(She rolls her eyes.)

“Yes, yes, yes.  You smelled my hand, almost gagged, and asked me what I had on it.  Then I told you, ‘I’ve had my hand down my pants!!’, and you said, ‘I knew that smell was rear end.’  I’ve heard that story at every holiday every year, including Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Dependence Day.”

(Because you know, we’ll probably celebrate a Dependence Day by then.  How else are we going to pay China back??)

“Yes.  That story happened when you were five.  It’s embarrassing enough for the family to hear it.  Would you have really wanted me to put that on the internet for the world to read?”

“I get it.  I get it!!  But still.  You could have found SOMETHING to say about me.”

Her inner-cranial phone rings.  It’s Ethan.  So that I can’t pick up the signal of their conversation with my Mother-Override-System (MOS), she stomps over to her hoverboard and zooms off, her slushy drink obediently trailing behind her.

I sit back and sigh, think “GoogleHelp”, and download another ‘Parenting Teenagers’ book into my brain.

15 thoughts on “One Day I’ll Have to Explain Myself.

  1. Hey Rachel, you may have something there with all the futuristic inventions…cha-ching. Your stories are some of the best I have ever read on blogs.

    1. Rachel, this is great! You have such a wonderful imagination and you bring up a really good issue. What will the children of today’s mom bloggers think about these blogs in the future? Very interesting.

      1. Thank you! In all seriousness, it’s an issue I think about every time I write about Ali. It seems that she’s old enough to have her privacy, but will she resent NOT being blogged about as much? I started my blog to document my kid’s lives, not knowing I’d actually have people that wanted to read it. So since I do, does Ali deserve her privacy, or deserve to have her life documented? It’s a tough balance.

  2. The book Feed by MT Anderson is a lot like this! Read it (but not to Ali, it can be creepy). Anyway, it is a tough balance you’re trying to maintain but that’s what most of life is..trying to create balance.

      1. Did it work? Does she look older?? I couldn’t tell after I finished it.

        I put a filter on it in Photoshop to make it look a bit otherworldly and futuristic, then I used the “Get Thinner” edit a few times, assuming that a teenager would have a less babyish face.

    1. Sounds like a good book!! I’ll have to check it out.

      By the way – I totally dreamed about you and your little one last night. It was weird.

  3. Ha! i hope she doesn’t give you any trouble when she’s 16 ;) but i was really impressed with the self knitting needles. HARRY POTTER! that’s all i could think :)

  4. I’ve had similar thoughts with my kiddos. Little ones just do stuff that is more easily lent to blogging. I figure the oldest over-all has had a LOT more posts, it’s just the majority were before the younger was born. :)

  5. They already make the perfect Coke “smoothie”–the Icee. But, alas, it’s not actually made of carrots and Brussels sprouts (JUST discovered that there’s an “s” at the end of Brussel…weird) but just pure ice and sugar.

    Oh well.

    ANYhoo, as much as I enjoyed your post (as always), I was specifically stopping by to tell you about this quirky Canadian show we just discovered called “Corner Gas.”

    I recommend it in general (very funny and dry), but then there was this episode called “Pilates Twist” where a character offers a “free” Pilates class, and I turned around to my husband and told him about your post where you were bemoaning people’s use of quotations for “emphasis.” : )

    AND THEN, they actually made fun of the exact same thing on the show…with one character suspiciously asking how much the class *really* costs since her sign said “free.”

    It really made both of us laugh, and I thought you might want to know that, apparently, Canadians share your misuse of quotations angst.

    1. That sounds awesome! We’ll have to see if that show is on Netflix or something.

      I feel so special that you thought of me while on vacation!! (sigh)

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