The nuclear option … or, Why I’ve erased my children from the blogosphere

Zan & Jayna go bye-bye

“Hey Dad, what the fuck is this website we found containing tons of pictures of, and stories about, us? Also, you’re an asshole and we hate you.”

My children, circa some point in the not-too-distant future

When I started blogging almost a decade ago (yes, I’ve been blogging for almost a decade now … which is either very impressive, or very depressing, or probably both), my primary influences were a handful of Mommy Bloggers who were writing with equal parts brutal honesty, heartfelt emotion and sharp-tongued humor about the trials and tribulations of raising young children while simultaneously struggling to maintain some semblance of the person they were before they became completely engulfed in the chaos of parenting. It inspired me to do the same … so I went for it. And I loved it.

Raising infants and toddlers was the most difficult experience of my entire life. I do not miss those years, but writing about them was a great way to keep from losing my fucking mind … and a great way for me to document some really special times in my children’s lives that they one day will be able to read all about thanks to this blog. When they are older, I believe they will consider this a precious gift.

Right now, however, I’m guessing probably not so much.

I’ve often wondered how I would handle with them the subject of this blog when they were old enough to question its existence and their exposure therein. Somewhat shockingly, they still remain only peripherally aware that I have a blog, and are totally ignorant of its contents. They’ve never seen it, and they’ve never asked about it. They do, however, know that there’s something called “Daddy Scratches” … and it is entirely feasible that they’ll either go looking for it themselves, or mention it to a peer who will do so.

During the past nine-plus years, I’ve published almost 700 posts here … hundreds of which contain photos of, and details about, my two amazing babies children, who now are 12 and 10 years old. No longer are they the bumbling, sometimes comical, sometimes demonic, Muppet-like doofuses I first started writing about way back when. They are people, and they exist outside the bubble within which my wife and I safely kept them during the years when I first began sharing with you my stories about raising them.

I’ve struggled in recent months to reconcile the fact that pictures of the two of them, and details about their lives, have remained available on the Internet without their knowledge or approval. Granted, I’ve shared less about them here in recent years, and have always maintained their anonymity … but still … they have reached ages at which I’m sure they would prefer those things be private.

And so, rather than waiting for them to ask, or for them (or, worse yet, one of their peers) to discover this blog, I have hidden from the public every post and social-media image in which their faces are clearly shown, as well as posts containing stories that, at this point in their lives, probably are best kept private. (I’ve also hidden a lot of other really lame shit that was doing little more than cluttering up the place … and, yes, I know at least one of you just made a “But Jon, that must mean you’ve deleted EVERYTHING!” joke, and, sweet Jesus, you are funny … and by “funny” I mean “such an asshole.”) The result? The almost-700 posts available here yesterday have been whittled down to about 200.

So what’s next? We’ll see. I’m eager to do some more blogging … which is what prompted me to make this move to begin with. The extent to which my forthcoming posts will deal with fatherhood remains to be seen (which has me wondering if I should stick with “Daddy Scratches” or come up with something less daddy-blogger-ish; the jury is still out on that one). Meanwhile, although the infrequency of my posts has certainly caused my readership numbers to drop in recent years, I know some of you still come back every time I post something (for which I thank you), and I know one of the things you’ve enjoyed here are my stories about my kids and my family. I hope to find ways to continue to tell some of those stories, albeit in a less revealing fashion … and I hope to also write other stuff that you’ll think doesn’t suck.

Most of all, though, I hope to write.

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