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Monday, March 9, 2009

This Year Will Be Better

I posted here in this space for the first time one year ago today.

What started as a time-waste turned into an obsession, and then matured into a complicated relationship. I just wanted to tell stories and work out what my opinions were about parenting, and fatherhood, and being a dad in a predominantly moms' world.

I also wanted to leave little traces of myself around so that I wouldn't forget, so that Erin would see her dad the way he thought himself.

This was never really a "keep the family up to date" kind of blog, although it works as such, indirectly, at times. It was just this place I could write, I could imprint on culture a little, I could figure out how to get better at manipulating words in order to transform minds.

Before this identity, this Backpacking Dad thing, developed I was always very secretive about my thoughts. This hampered me a lot in academics, because I would turn in papers that had only ever been seen by one person, containing ideas only ever discussed with one person, and I had no desire to participate in the vast feedback loop of academic development. So another thing I planned to get out of this space was to get over my reluctance to share my deliberate thoughts with people and to let them tell me what, if anything, they were worth outside of my own head.

That was a long paragraph about, oh my god, how shy I am, really, no really, I swear I am really. But this activity has really been life-altering, and I came to it not thinking very much of the endeavor.

But I read. And I was read. And I met people. And I argued with people. And I agreed with people. And I made friends. And I made enemies. And I embarrassed myself. And I embarrassed other people. And I became entangled in other lives, just as strangers were getting entangled in mine.

I told Emily once that I don't like people in my house. That's still true, to a certain extent. But I think I have all of you to thank for being willing to consider having houseguests.

This year will see a lot more changes. I no longer write about my experience as an at-home dad, because I'm not really one anymore. I will very shortly no longer be able to write about being the parent of a single child. I don't know whether what seems to be my trademark sappiness will endure, or if being the exhausted father of two will make me want to dive into a six-pack and just watch the game instead of waxing about how much I love my kids. I suppose I'll just keep writing whatever I feel like writing. Mostly I just like to tell the stories that are laying around. I'm not good at fiction.

I am a dad. I have a backpack. My daughter rides around in the backpack (occasionally....). My son will ride around in the backpack. And you will get to read all about it during the second year.

Thanks for reading. You have made an unforseeable difference.

41 comments:

Average Jane said...

Congratulations on your first year of blogging!

Ali said...

what? you are shy? what?

for a different kind of girl said...

DANG IT!! I was hoping to go full circle and get the first comment here!

I'm going back to read now, shy boy.

for a different kind of girl said...

You're one of the good guys. I get freaked out when people are in my house, but it's pretty amazing when they show up. As long as they don't tear the place up, that is. And they don't mind if I'm flitting around cleaning up while they're here. Basically, I'm a nervous wreck, thus, I write about caulk (again!)(I KNOW!)

Thanks for sharing your words with us.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Well, congrats on one full year! Glad you made it through and keep on writing so we can keep on reading!

attiton said...

I guess I never thought you had a "beginning," Shawn. I just thought you were always here.

The Stiletto Mom said...

I can't believe it's only been a year...you seem like you've been writing much longer. Looking forward to what the next year brings with all the changes!

Nenette AM said...

Congrats! Keep writing and I'll keep reading... Here's to Year 2. :)
xo

Schmutzie said...

Happy anniversary!

Peggy said...

Happy Bloggiversary! Keep on Keepin on! We'll be here!

ms. changes pants while driving said...

i've been reading you since the post about erin getting her finger stuck in the sliding glass door. hopefully, that was this blog and not some other blog.

i don't comment often (much less been the 9th commenter!), but happy bloggiversary :D

gah! stupid WORD verification! this is my third freaking try! now i'm the TENTH comment.

are you KIDDING me??? it got me again! i swear, i showed up here and i would have been the 7th commenter. what the EFF is a buctud?

Rita Arens said...

I am also shocked it's only been a year. I think I took my entire first year of blogging just to clear my throat.

Redneck Mommy said...

Congratulations dude and happy anniversary for the blog.

Your template still makes my eyes bleed. Someone should do something about that...

Headless Mom said...

Congratulations on getting through your first year. Looking forward to your new adventures of backpacking one and chasing the other. That makes it sooo much more interesting. Take it from one who knows...

anymommy said...

Happy Year of Blogging. We started around the same time. Funny, I thought you were an old pro.

I'll be around for the next year - I want to see if you can get them both into a backpack.

Kristy - Where's My Damn Answer said...

Congratulations on a year. We've just passed our year anniv too but not sure we can publicly celebrate that. I didn't realize it but our first post was on Feb 29th so technically we aren't a year old for seven years ... right?

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Well done.

One of the more worthy reads that I've found this past year.

Here's to a 2nd year, just as good.

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

Congrats on your bloggiversary Shawn! I can't believe you've only been at this a year!

You? A shy introvert? I've seen you on Twitter and I have a hard time believing that.

Best wishes for a great year, new adventures and many more great posts!

Mandy said...

happy blogoversary!

i'm glad you made the leap into the unknown.

Elisa said...

Happy 1-year Blog...iversary?

Looking forward to see what the new year will bring :-)

Don Mills Diva said...

I can't believe you've only been writing for a year: it seems like I've been loving you forever.

Mama Smurf said...

I can't wait to read about the adventures that await you and your growing family.

Stephanie N. said...

So, why did that make me get all weepy and choked-up?

Emily said...

Congrats on the 1 year anniversary! I've only discovered your blog in the last few weeks so I look forward to your next year of writing and adventures!

Loralee Choate said...

Has it really been a year, coz? Man. I also didn't realize how soon BlogHer was after the start of your blog. Makes you even more of an awesome rockstar of bravery, IMO.

Happy bloggiversary!!

Danielle said...

Happy blogiversary!

Seems like I've been reading you much longer than a year!

Bianka said...

Happy Blog Birthday!

I want to be your friend. But let's not visit each other because I don't like people in my house either.

Carmen said...

Congratulations to you! I've SO enjoyed reading your journey.

ThisFullHouse said...

Congratulations and Happy Everything!

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

It's been a year already? How the hell did that happen?

Here's to the last year and the best for many more to come.

Mom101 said...

Aw, happy anniversary BD. The blog world is a better place for having you in it.

BabyShrink said...

Happy Birthday, BPD! Glad to be making this trek along with you, in a way. Love your work, and very excited to hear more about the little guy coming along. Aloha!

Whit said...

It's been a good year and I'm looking forward to the next one, too.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

Happy one-year! =)

I'm sure that the stories will just keep getting better.

Assertagirl said...

Happy anniversary! I'm so very glad to have found your site and to have met you in the last year.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

The second child will probably cure you of that urge to consider houseguests. Unless they bring clean laundry or lots of booze.

Jacquie

Samurai Beetle said...

And thanks for writing - but not buying the shy act.

JCK said...

Huge congrats on your year of blogging...and a son!

Shy people are basically blogomaniacs.

Tracy said...

I adore you. Happy blogiversary!

Looking forward to round two.

mumma boo said...

As usual, I'm late to the party, but Happy Anniversary! You were the very first commenter on my new site last year, and I'll always appreciate your kind (and funny!) words that kept me going as I floundered to put my spin on the blogosphere. I don't always have time to comment here, but I am still reading and enjoying your posts! Congratulations on the year and best wishes for year #2!

Danielle-lee said...

One year already? Wow! I missed my 1 year somehow. Thanks for letting us into your life, and I can't wait to 'meet' your son this year!