Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Why Me?

You may know by now that I've got more questions than answers. Perhaps this is why Curious George is my hero.

Questions like

  • Do subatomic particles have bad days?
  • Why is Firefox such a dog on the Mac, when it's so good on the PC?
  • As integrated as Google is in the Mac OS, why don't they make Blogger compatible wtih Safari?
  • Why do I write this blog?
Frank Ahrens asked this last question of any blogger who reads his "30 Million Blogs and Counting" column. Coincidentally, it's also been bouncing around in my head for several days now.

My motivation for writing this blog is straightforward: share our lives, including sights and sounds from our lives, with family and friends who are scattered across the country--and those who will be coming into our lives soon, namely Baby Boy Bradstein. The blog is the fastest and easiest way for us to share quick snapshots like our recent ultrasound images, baby heartbeats, and anecdotes with so many geographically dispersed people. The truth is that it only reaches a narrow subset of that group however. There are those family members and friends who don't spend much time online, who don't have broadband, who don't want to be bothered with one more site to visit, who don't have the time, or who don't see the point.

On the other hand, there are those who, like the King in Vegas, love the voyeurism of the blog--who love peering in through this small pixelated window into our lives. Brother #2 seems to dig on it a fair amount, but he's got the full on Reverend Jack and His Roamin' Cadillac Church mobile computing command center going on, so he's jacking into the net from all over the place, and is used to getting his news in bits and bytes. Our neighbor, the Liberal Banana reads somewhat regularly, but she's a fellow traveller, which explains that.

So it's good for some people, including myself. I use it as a communication tool that's convenient for me, and that suits some of the tastes, desires, schedules, and capabilities of friends and family. But, it will never replace phone calls and e-mails. In fact, it inspires more phone calls and e-mail exchanges with those who regularly read it. Before they started reading this, I would hear from regular readers once a month, at best. Now, we're in contact at least once a week, if only through comments on the blog, but we often extend our conversations into e-mail and phone calls.

And, while it won't replace all the personal love that we're going to smother Baby Boy Bradstein with, it's not intended to. For BBB, I intend this as a record, a diary of what our pregnancy and life with him is like as we go through it. Sure, I could write this privately in some notebook, but then our distant family and friends wouldn't have the opportunity to keep up with us as regularly because, while I won't take the time to call each of them personally with the news of BBB's first kicks, I will take 10 minutes to post it here, where they can all read about it at their leisure. Which then also makes it available for BBB to see when he grows up, in the event that he's curious about who we were and what we did while we were expecting and raising him. Also, it's my small contribution to the pool of knowledge for dads.

There are untold numbers of resources for moms--books, websites, and so forth--but it's not so easy to find good information about being a dad. I'm not sure that many of my examples will have much keen insight, but the caveats that I expect to provide based on the depth of my ineptitude might help keep other dads from following in my wayward footsteps. This motivation has come recently, as I've read more dad blogs. Most of them are helpful and provide valuable diverse perspectives on expecting and having a baby, sometimes providing nothing more than the news that I'm not the first dad to worry about this or that. And, although some of them have become popular, even outside the dad-o-sphere, many of them were started by ordinary dads who also wanted to share their insights as well as hear from the community of dads.

The community, and it's a rather small one here in the Bradstein Household blog, has been an unexpected and pleasant surprise. It's been a blast to swap comments with Brother #2 and the King. Now, when Liberal Banana and I see each other, we have so much more to talk about, since we keep up on each other's blogs. I figured that, at most, I would swap a few emails every once in awhile about something related to the blog, but now I'm in fairly regular contact with
  • a friend who I used to work with for 80 hours a week, but whom I haven't seen in years
  • my brother, who roams the West as Butch and Sundance only wished they could, making him hard to keep up with regularly
  • a Liberal Banana
While that's not my original motivation, it does keep me going. Just ask Mama how excited I am to find someone has left a comment, sent an email, or called in response to something on here.

I hope that someday BBB will find unexpected and pleasant surprises in these words, if he chooses to read them. Although I can't write to him at this point because I don't know him yet, I am writing for him as well as others. Perhaps he will not be interested, perhaps he will be a silent lurker, or perhaps he will become engaged in these brief accounts. It's important to me that he has the choice, that it's available to him.

[Updated image minutes after the first posting. The first one was blurry.]


  1. Anonymous11:16 PM

    Hey great reads buddy I have not been on in a week. As I have been back in St Lou with my folks, my mom had a small spot of cancer on a lng and had to go in for to have it removed by a doc in a white coat. She is doing good now although still in the hospital so as to get much rest and etc... She never even smoked thats what she didnt understand. and at 77 she was a bit freaked. I will keep you updated on her progress. And more old friends than you know may be reading your dialy rantings as I have turned everyone I can email on to you. Ahhhh "Its a boy mrs walker a boy, A SON A SON A SON!!!!" Who lyrics.Dan Akre is here in town for a couple of days and we are having a lovely time.

    King Out.

  2. King--give our best to Gladys, we wish her a speedy and complete recovery. Thanks for turning everyone on to the blog--I think it's up to four readers now. (Either you need more friends, or they all still remember me from the Foolies. I still remember y'all--matter of fact, I just came across my pics of the Mo Boys leaving Many, complete with AkeMan in his hand-claw. I'll try to scan them in and get them to y'all before the next Olympics.)

    How could I have missed the obvious Who lyrics, except that I didn't want to jinx our son with being deaf, dumb, blind and a pinball wizard?


  3. Anonymous3:14 PM

    Wait they still have pinball?!??!!?!?

    Aww man some of your pics from Many would be a blast!!!

    Thanks for mom, she gets to go home today, and she is feeling much better.

  4. I'll start digging for the pictures again. They should be close to the top, and I'll let you know when I find them. Good news about mom. Give her our best, and hang in there, King. Y'all are in our thoughts.