This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
I’ve been asked repeatedly lately about how writing this blog — and including so much personal information — affects my life. People ask me if my wife screams at me when she reads what I write. Some people criticize me for being so blunt and sharing too much. “How can you stand it knowing that total strangers know intimate details about your life?” is the one question that keeps popping up time and time again.
Look, either you’re a private person or you’re an open book. That’s the long and short of it. Private people are uncomfortable sharing personal information, so naturally those people are not your ideal bloggers for this kind of forum. I happen to be an open book. Maybe it’s because I’m a horrible liar and at a young age I figured I’d better tell the truth since I’m incapable of lying about it anyways. Maybe it’s because I’m a natural born storyteller and I don’t mind it when bad/crazy/bizarre things happen to me because it makes for an interesting tale. But whatever the reason, I don’t mind the details of my life being out in the open.
However, the sticky part of this whole blog thing is my wife. She is a private person, in fact very much so. When I came to her with the idea for the blog she was conflicted. On one hand she thought I’d be good at it, but she flinched when I told her that I needed her permission to go all in. Meaning almost nothing is off limits. Sex, fights, humiliating stories…all of it needed to be on the table to make this a success because I firmly believe people read my blog because of its honesty.
Parents out there know that having a child is wonderful, but difficult. It’s challenging and some of that challenge is overcoming spousal arguments, differences of opinion on the best methods of parenting, bickering at each other, etc. And while most couples probably try to sweep that under the rug and put on a happy face for the outside world, I do the opposite. Even though I write about all the happiness I’m feeling, I also detail all the ugly spats and fights. I do it because that’s real life and I believe people relate. I think they feel relieved they’re not the only ones going through it. And I think a lot of them are appreciative of the fact that someone out there doesn’t mind chronicling the good times, as well as the tough ones.
Thankfully, MJ is an angel and she gave me permission to do this even though she wasn’t 100 percent comfortable with it. If she hadn’t given me the green light, I wouldn’t have done it. Because I love her and respect her.
And while I don’t mind being an open book, as this blog has blossomed I have been thrown for a loop a few times. For instance, I called a lawyer’s office a couple of days ago and the receptionist recognized my name and told me she loved reading the blog. I still am shocked when people I don’t know tell me they read me all the time. Shocked, but extremely appreciative. It’s happened a few other times when I’ve been out on an assignment and someone will say “Did your son pee on you recently?” or “Good for you, I wouldn’t let my son wear pink socks either.” And it really hits me at that point and I think “Wow, these people know a lot about me and I’ve never met them.” I admit, that’s a weird feeling.
And I might run into more problems if this blog keeps going when Will is old enough to communicate. What if he starts reading it and it upsets him or embarrasses him? Or what if I have a major disagreement with one or more of my relatives concerning Will and they read my rants on the blog? Honestly, I didn’t give any of this much thought at the outset because I figured approximately 7 people might ever read it.
And while I won’t brag about my traffic, let’s just say it’s considerably higher than 7. And to that end, my awesome brother Nate surprised me last month for my birthday by purchasing a domain name and designing me my very own Web site. Although you’ll still be able to access the site via the Cape Cod Times (at least in the immediate future) the plan is to eventually move everything to the new site which is www.daddyfiles.com. And if you’re already on the new site, well…thanks for coming!
And please continue to check out all the other great blogs the Cape Cod Times has to offer as well as all the other features on www.capecodonline.com as well. But all of you with bookmarks, links or feeds will want to plug in the new URL to continue following the blog.
So thank you for reading, making the blog a success and please check out all the new features like the photo album and be sure to sign the guestbook too. And leave me suggestions, praise and/or criticism on the new blog because we’re still playing around with the format. All suggestions are welcome.