I hope you're looking at this blog, especially at the two tags I've created to help you find all the things I've written for you, and you find this. Because I'm assuming you've also noticed the massive gap of articles over the last few years.
Once upon a time, when I first wrote the first "Dear Monkey" entry when Monkey was born (though admittedly it was a re-tagging effort; Monkey didn't have a nickname at the time, and would have that nickname until she was 2), I had grandiose visions of writing to your older selves, providing deep wisdom and showing you what it was like raising you. Well, as I'm sure you've gleaned from all of this, that's not how it panned out.
You've probably seen the marked drop in entries after about 2011. For the last decade, content's been pretty thin. (That wasn't intentional, in case you're wondering.) It hit kind of rock-bottom in 2019, limped through 2020, and only as I stepped back into my new (and current) job did I find a kind of ... well, revitalization that made me want to pay attention to this all over again.
So what happened?
Truth is, I don't really know. At least, not for certain. I can speculate that as Mommy went back to work and I ended up a pseudo-single parent, less and less of my brain was even remotely interested in the minutiae of day-to-day life, events, and random musings. So I didn't write it down. That time I would have spent got reallocated, and most of it to my job, trying to build my skills, trying to be a valuable employee.
You might remember that one summer when I was always around the house. That was when I was off work, the result of burnout -- basically, a mental breakdown. All that time and effort trying to be a parent while trying to be the best I can at work took it's toll. For the record, that's what happens when you don't have a good work-life balance. And in all of that, not only did I lose the passion to write, I lost the written record of what happened. I suppose I should be thankful that I took a lot of pictures, at least -- those tell some of the story. But my specific thoughts at the time are forever lost.
I think I also lost some of my memory. Just tonight, I finished the long process of fixing this blog so it would be "correct" (metadata, mostly, but also fixing image includes and a few encoding problems). That required a lot of reading, and it helped me remember details that had slipped away.
But I didn't write to you. I didn't write about New Years Tea, about Christmases, and most offensively, I didn't wish you happy birthday; not in text, anyway. For that, I beg for your forgiveness. I had hoped there would be more of you in here by this point in your lives, but as it is so famously said: life happens ... and sometimes life doesn't give you lemons, it drops an anvil on your head.
You might have noticed that I've had a substantial return to writing since November. I hope to keep this up, I hope to keep writing to you about important things. Well, important to me, to us. They might seem trivial at the time, but I can't tell you how great it's been to reread some of these stories and remember all the fun we've had. I just wish there had been more about the camping, the random day trips, the movies, making dinner in the firepit, going to pools. It's all lost, all in this sieve I call a mind. Hopefully the stories will live on so long as I can tell them verbally.
I just hope I haven't missed too much.