It can be a disturbing thing to realise that your parents had a life before you, indeed, that there was even anything at all in existence before you. When she is old enough the little one will, if she looks for it, find that I’ve blogged almost my entire adult life. Every pretentious, dorky, and self-absorbed word will be there for her to read. This is on top of the years of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and so on. And then before that, a void of content. While my childhood was lived out in meatspace memories, my adult life has been recorded with a meticulousness that might have earlier in history only been reserved for the very rich and very famous. But her life, from birth onward, will likely be entirely online. As parents we’ve already condemned her to that, as so many other children are, and to be the most photographed generation of all time. There may be a hundred photographs of me from birth to ten years old. There are already likely hundreds, perhaps thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of H on a hard drive, or Instagram or Facebook, after just two years.
What will be more horrifying? A fifteen year old child finding my recorded histories or a fifteen year old being so disinterested in her parents that she wouldn’t even think to look? Will she note the absence? Her absence from those years that she was around but not written about? That is why I am going to write again. Perhaps for the first time I read back over my blogging history and didn’t feel the need to cringe with shame over what I’d written. Which isn’t to say I have decided that the awkward openness of early blogging lives don’t still have an element of cringe, that they are all now Magnificent Texts of Recorded Time, rather, they reflect the events that lead to her birth. Once she has both feet firmly in being she will wonder why she was made. Why she was made and not some other. And that awkward history, full of foolishness and indulgence will be part of the answer to that.