Monday, February 27, 2017

These Are Not Their Real Names - How I Guard My Family On A Family Blog

These are my two kids.



Their real names are not posted on the world wide web because Holla! Creeps are out there. When I first began blogging, I had no problem sharing their names because in short: no one cared about my blog. Then, I started receiving emails from strangers who mentioned my daughter's name. Those strangers were friendly and some even became internet friends of mine. Still, it made me wonder if the nice people were taking notice, then who else out there was keeping tabs on us? The use of my daughter's name was treaded carefully forwarded until this viral post started making its rounds. In short, it's a blog post from a famous blogger who discovered a man stalking her family, to the degree of trespassing her property at night. Matters only got worse when she discovered her precious baby's photos on sexualized baby role play websites.

That is sick beyond measure.


That blogpost left me in a bit of turmoil how to blog about my nuggets. Because underneath the inability to shower like a normal person and spamming people on the internet, this is largely a family record. The blog idea is that this will be an easy access to family records when my immediate family and I am dead and gone from this world. As more posts & comments came in mentioning my kids, the more aware I became of a silent crowd also reading. Nothing scary has happened to us, but it's naive to think that if something hasn't happened yet, then it never will. I chewed hard on the idea to make a separate private family blog, but that didn't seem quite necessary, either. 

I hesitated writing the first sentence of this post. I hesitated even writing this post at all, for I hate to shine spotlight on my treasures. However, this post felt important to write, to share some multi faceted message. Part of that message is this: there will always be crap on the internet. Maybe my family's corner of the world would have a small influence to improve this blogosphere.

Through much thought wrestling and doing best to follow instinct, the choice was made was to give my fatlings blog pseudonyms and to follow some guidelines about posting pictures of children. Some of those guidelines are to take picture of child at an unflattering / boring side angle, or to take a picture with me next to the child. Even posting slightly blurred photos is a deliberate measure of safety. I continue keeping them safe by never indulging our whereabouts, until we are no longer located there. (For example, keeping posts on family trips offline until we're home.)

With timid steps pressing forward, and eyes checking every which way, I choose to continue publicly blogging about my family. 

Now to something a little lighter: these are the meanings behind their {fake} names.

Arrow




I have long loved the idea of an arrow launching straight and marking its target. Occasionally, an arrow will hit bullseye, but often it needs adjustment and practice before record achievement. An arrow can be a tool of protection. A loosed arrow is deliberate, determined, and makes some pretty intense impact. This name unintentionally became a perfect name for my headstrong and achiever daughter. (If only the idea had occurred to us before...) She is strong, independent, and very protective of her family. (Especially at the doctor's office. She'll have none of those white coats touching Mama or Brother.)

Archer





I equally love the idea of not just the arrow itself, but the guide behind the bow. The archer knows when to be still, strategic, and knows how far to pull back before releasing. My Archer is only a wee babe now, but his personality has long reminded me of my husband who is patient, resourceful, and mindful of others. (Pregnant mothers can often sense those baby's budding personalities :) ) We have much to learn about him, but he is already a baby who is observant of his sister, easily made happy, and I suspect will grow into those archer qualities that his daddy already possesses.

FUTURE KID NAMES

The pseudonyms that will adorn future children are actually much more boring. Names like Liam or Natasha. My creativity extends only as far as my toes most days, and those future children will probably feel the brunt of that ;)

Giving my kids fake names online gave me freedom to continue writing about them. Plus, it was a chance to use the names that I couldn't get clearance on by the husband. Everyone wins.

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