I'm a daddy blogger. I accept that now.
It's an interesting thing to be -- especially in the blogging circles where I orbit.
If you've spent any time here, you may have noticed that most -- nearly all -- of those who read and comment on my blog, are women. I'm not really sure how that happened, to tell you the truth. But it did, and it's just fine with me, though I have to admit, being a dad blogger in a vast ocean of mommy bloggers occasionally gets a little surreal. Sometimes I feel like a sideshow freak, that people have heard about, and drop by to see if it's real -- like the world's smallest horse at the county fair. Sometimes I feel like a favorite pet. Heck, sometimes my gender even gets lost in the mix, and someone new to the blog just assumes I'm one of the girls.
Sometimes I feel like Cyrano de Bergerac, standing in the shadows, just out of sight, saying things that women love to hear.
I started blogging because my sister-in-law, Pam, told me I had to.
I didn't know if I had anything to say to the world. I put out a few posts occasionally, and nobody read them. I just wasn't sure what this blogging thing was all about, and why would anyone care enough about what I was writing to come back and see if I had written anything else?
Then one day Pam told me I had to join this new blogging event, hosted by her friend Cecily, called Photostory Friday. And suddenly people were reading my blog, and coming back week after week. I have thrived on that. I began to find my own voice -- and that voice came through most clearly when I talked about my family.
When I wrote about beauty, I was writing about my family. When I wrote about joy, I was writing about my family. Whether the topic was popcorn, or cancer, or Christmas trees, or sorrow, or gratitude, or olives -- the underlying theme always comes back to my family. This little blog has caused me to look at my family -- and the world -- in a whole different light.
I'm not vocally eloquent. I have a slow and deliberate thought process. I feel things deeply, but when I speak, my mouth moves faster than my brain, and I fear saying something that I cannot retract. Words can be unintentionally sharp and painful -- or dull and lifeless. Writing gives me the chance to take the raw word, and shape it and polish it, before I send it out into the light of day. And that's been the real blessing of blogging.
In trying to say what I want to say, I find myself thinking deeply about the relationships in my life. Diving below the surface, I have found great meaning and gratification in my life. I realize daily -- and more than I ever did before -- how blessed I really am. I've learned to write from those depths, and the words you read here are now as close to the way I think, as they have ever been.
I'm grateful for the voice that has emerged on this blog. It is my voice -- the voice of a husband and a father who is very aware of all that he has.
This voice would not have come through without the feedback, and wonderful comments, of so many friends from so many varied corners of the world. I don't exactly know why you're here, or what I said that brought you back the second time, but I'm thankful for each of the friends I've made through this little hobby. Your lives are so interesting -- and we share so much common ground, don't we?
Whatever brought you here, and whatever keeps you coming back, I thank you for helping me to find a voice.