Happy Eighth Birthday, Blog

Vivian and Nora Playing Horsey

It is a little frightening looking back at the early posts of this blog and contemplating how much has changed. Back then, thirty was a big and important number. Now I’m two years away from my fortieth birthday. Back then, Erin and I were alone in this big house. Now the house is not nearly so big.

For the first thirty years of my life, I never kept a diary or a journal. I regret that, now. I took up blogging because it was a neat new thing, but also because I wanted to take my writing to the next level, and all of the professional writers I knew (particularly Erin) recommended that I get a writing journal so that I could just get in the habit of sitting and writing every day. So, now, the last eight years of my life have been logged. I now have at my fingertips the birthstories of my two daughters, albums of the launch parties around my first three novels, a history of the development of my professional writing, my thoughts on major issues as they developed, and so on. I know more about myself now than I did eight years ago, such that when Rosemarie asks me for information on when a certain trip took place and where we went, I’m able to pull it up fairly quickly. Meanwhile, a fair chunk of my life is somewhat harder to recall with as much clarity — though, given that includes my high school years, perhaps that’s for the best.

Earlier this week, I enrolled Vivian in the local public school’s senior kindergarten program, with classes to start this September. The school, which happens to be the school we’d be naturally assigned to under the public school system’s boundaries, was fortunate enough to receive the necessary provincial funding for its all-day, every day kindergarten program. Although I remain concerned about the stress all day education could represent to a child on the verge of turning five, and though the board’s earlier decision to go all-day, every-other-day has been roundly criticized, I am hopeful about the boost all of that new education time will give Vivian. And, given that she has been going to an intensive preschool and junior kindergarten program at the University of Waterloo’s Early Childhood Education Centre, I am confident that she will rise to the challenge and thrive on it. It has been remarkable seeing Vivian and Nora grow these past few years, and I’m thankful for having this blog to look back to on that.

These days, blogs do not have quite the cachet they used to in 2002 or 2005. Now, it seems, everyone has them, and the noise-to-signal ratio is far too high. And, of course, as a percentage of the population, the number of people who get famous by blogging basically rounds to zero. But in the end, blogging is a popular activity because it’s personal. It’s not about the readership, just as writing in one’s personal diary isn’t about the readership.

And yet, in some ways, it is. I wouldn’t be nearly so diligent in keeping this blog up to date if it weren’t for the people here who I know visit and leave comments. I can count a number of friendships forged through blogging. Blogging may be a deeply personal activity, but the community element of it can’t be overlooked. So, to all of you reading this, thank you. You’ve given me lots of strength and encouragement to continue and, by doing so, you’ve helped me become a better writer in the process. Thank you.

So, even though this blog must surely be considered ‘venerable’, given its age (and, yet, strangely, I’m still not linked to by Boing Boing), I expect to keep it up in the days and months to come. How many blogs, after all, can honestly celebrate a tenth anniversary? I think I would like it very much if mine did.

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