So, I finally gave in. After over a year of begging and heavy hinting, I officially introduced my six-year-old son to the world of blogging today.
Sound the trumpets! Ring the bells! It's an historical day!
For a blogging maven mum, you'd think that I would've immediately turned my son to blogging the moment he asked if he could have his own website. But, no. It wasn't really something I wanted to do. And, I had a few good reasons.
My first and foremost concern was safety/security, of course. You see, I want to make sure that he understands web safety measures before I allow him to put stuff 'out there'.
I think Cam would have been okay with the safety stuff last year. But, I still hesitated.
Another concern I had was that I didn't really want him to have a blog or site that he can't maintain himself. I didn't want to be the one writing for him. I thought it might be best to wait until until he can be the one really invested in it. When it can be something that he can really own.
"But I really, really want a website!" He tells me. "Just like yours!"
"What are you going to put in it?"
"Stuff. My books. My medals. And stories. And pictures and..."
Hmmm... Now, how can a blogging mum tell her son that it might not be the best idea just yet?
So, I just kept saying, "Later, okay?" Or, "Another time, sweetie."
In the mean time, my boy continues to write. He has been 'making books' for over a year now.
At first, Cam's books were handwritten things on copy paper that get stapled together. They're funny little books that make us laugh and feel proud. He even started trying to sell his books to us at home (That boy got himself a few dollars from our loose change!).
His dream, he says, is to become a bookshop owner. And a book maker (author).
Then, when Cam learned all about word processing software some time last year, he started typing his books. Early this year, I taught him how to use clip art and other images in his writing.
A few months ago, I also finally set up an email account for him that I monitor. Email was something that he got really excited about, as he is able to contact our families and close family friends overseas directly. He also sends me (and hubby) messages regularly!
Over the last few weeks, Cam's latest writing obsession is all about creating newspapers. In his first 'newspaper edition', he insisted on printing a few copies and giving them out to people we know at church. He even stuck a copy or two in a couple of neighbours' letter boxes. That's when I slowly started introducing him to the concept of desktop publishing.
Obviously, Cam's craving for an audience. He wants a way to report things that happen to him. Things that he's interested in. But, he doesn't want just to write them down. He wants to connect with other people through his writing.
So today, I gave in. I mean, how can I keep my own son from accessing the wonderful possibilities of creating media? Especially web media?
That's why I finally set up Cam's Chronicles*. He chose the name. He chose the layout and such. Of course, I gave him ideas, but it was all ultimately his final choice. And, yes, he wrote every single entry published there. His dad and I give him feedback on grammar/spelling and concepts, trying not to be overly critical.
And now, Cam's just soooo excited. After I set it up and he wrote his first entry, he turned to me and asked, "So, am I a blogger now just like you?" I say, "Yes, of course!"
That's when he started singing and talking about being a happy little blogger.
You wouldn't believe just how he literally jumped from his seat, eyes wide, when he received his first comment. Yes, he loves receiving comments (don't we all?). But, I think, he's mostly just stoked to have his own place on the web.
In fact, while I was writing this blog entry, something surreal happened in our quiet little household. My little three year old girl got her head stuck between two timber poles in our backyard. We were all anxious and upset about it. My girl was in a massive panic. We had to call '000'.
Thankfully, one of the best things about Adelaide is getting quick emergency response. Within minutes, we had the firies come to the rescue. The police and the ambos came too. They were fantastic.
And, although in the midst of all the domestic drama, Cam was visibly and terribly upset about the whole situation, as soon as he saw that his sister was safe and happy again, his first thought was: "Now I can write about this on my blog!" And so he did, without any prompting.
Well, it looks like I do truly and fully have my very own little blogger. My lovely Boy Geek. 🙂
It's not something I planned to do. And, it feels a bit weird... seeing as I still remember the day I blogged about his birth just a little over six years ago. In fact, he was born about the same time I became About.com's (former) Guide to Web Logs. Now, he's blogging too!
In any case, please do say hello to him, if you can. I'm sure it will give him a thrill.
* Yes, I know it's on Blogger. I'm fine with that. It was the quickest, easiest way to set things up for a variety of reasons. I'd consider getting him his own domain one day, if he keeps up with it. And yes, hubby and I have administrative access to his account.