I’m emergency-homeschooling my kids.
I’m emergency-homeschooling my kids because twice now the disability services in the schools they were enrolled in failed us. This fall, we will enroll them in a third school, and try again.
I never (not really) write about my kids. I don’t put photographs of their faces on the internet, and I don’t write about their private business. But now I’m wondering whether it is possible, as a person, as a mother, to work as a writer without writing about my kids.
My kids are a part of me. They are, along with their father, imbedded inside of me.
I wrote one piece, once, about them, for the wonderful magazine Motherwell. I trusted Motherwell Magazine to do it right, and they did.
But now, I wonder whether I should open that door further.
Occasionally I write a piece that pisses off people. Sometimes people get really pissed off at me. Fortunately, because I’ve been emergency-homeschooling, I haven’t had much time to write, so I haven’t had much time to piss off people, not lately.
I do not put my kids’ faces or their names on the internet. When occasionally I write those pieces that piss off people, I don’t wan’t my kids in the crossfire. Because there is always crossfire.
I am not so dense that I can’t predict that there will sometimes be crossfire. I’m a woman who writes on the internet. We draw fire. The sun rises, the sun sets, and women who write on the internet get abused.
But I also know that my stories of struggles with my own disabilities and my kids’ disabilities at the same time would mean something to readers. I know that they will. Those stories might even change the world a little bit. They’re worth writing.
So here I go, launching into a new phase of my writing life. A phase in which I, with self-consciousness and deliberation, as a disabled woman with disabled children, bring her children into her public story. At the same time, I will protect their identities. I will protect them because I am their mother and I would hurl myself into a dying star for them. That is what it means, to mother.