Friday, May 29, 2009

This is childhood

She has practiced piano. She has played with the dog, looked after the chicks, independently prepared herself breakfast and lunch, played with her siblings, climbed trees and on the roof of the house. She's looking forward to a party tonight with a whole bunch of grownups, siblings and young adult friends. And now she's swinging herself through the dappled forest green towards the blue of the sky.


  1. What a wonderful childhood.

  2. Anonymous1:42 p.m.

    I was interested in this blog, as my 7 and 9 year old play violin, and in addition to that, the 7 year old plays trumpet, and the 9 year old plays sax. I play the clarinet and take private lessons. (and I have a 3 year old) So I thought I might find something interesting here.

    All I see is a blog that resembles a very scripted and very staged bad reality TV show. I don't buy this crap for 1 second.

    very boring.

  3. Wow, anon, what possessed you to insult a stranger? I write my blog not to win the approval of strangers but in order to create a virtual scrapbook for myself and my own kids, and in order to keep our extended family up to date on what's going on with us. If you stumble upon it and it doesn't serve your needs, whatever those are, just give it a miss. No need to be rude.

    Not sure what you "don't buy" but I guess that's your issue.

    Here's hoping you've used your unkindness up on me so that you don't go subjecting your family or others to it.

  4. Anonymous2:40 p.m.

    I am not unkind. Quite the opposite. In fact I erased my comments several times,before I actually posted.

    But this is a public forum with a slant towards parents of musical/gifted children. And I have every right to voice my opinion. There are ample ways of making a blog without making it quite so public.

    As a 40 year old American woman who has lived all over the world, (including 3rd world countries as a volunteer/missionary nurse)and and has lived in London for the past 9 years, with 3 children, I have been fortunate enough to meet many people. I have never met anyone IRL or online (as yes I do get on-line) who has quite the life you do. You obviously lead the life I quiet aspire too. Nothing is ever wrong! perfect life! Perfect kids! All gifted! Never do they fight! never are there problems among them!


    This perfect life you have somehow built up on a very public forum, complete with ample information and pictures of your children, is a very typical example of a very ambitious mother desperate to prove to the world, her life, children and situation are better than most.

    Unfortunately, I encounter these types daily. But fortunately I realize after a squillion years of child-rearing, (and 40 years of living) women like you are actually a disservice to the whole notion of child rearing. Its not all perfect! I have very nice and kind children who I had to put to bed early this evening as they were fighting so terribly, I couldn't think straight.

    That is childhood.

  5. At least you don't hide your jealousy by admitting you aspire to her life.

    You'd think as a 40 year old American woman who brags about living in 3rd world countries and volunteering you'd be smart enough to realize no one makes you read this blog and less of a coward who hides under "anonymous".

    I have read your blog for at least a couple years now and cannot tell you all the ways in which you've inspired me.

  6. Anon, I don't know how to respond. All I'm trying to do is to share some moments, especially the nice ones, but also some not-so-nice ones with friends and family. You seem to feel very threatened and angered by the fact that we live simply and for the most part amicably.

    I'm pretty sure I can't fix your anger by responding to your comments, nor, short of having you come and visit, can I change how you think of me. You've judged me already. But I'm surprised at how confused and hurt I am that someone out there was so upset by my vignettes of our family life. I honestly don't know what to do or how to respond. I've never met with this sort of comment before. I can't pull the blog down, or set it to private, because certain elderly relatives who are unable to travel any more rely on it to keep a sense of connection with us, and can't manage logins and passwords. So I think the solution is in your hands -- you'll just have to stop reading.

    Or please, at least stop posting hurtful and judgemental comments.

  7. I have read Miranda's blog for some time now and I find it VERY Refreshing to read about the positives in the life of parenting, instead of the mostly negative things that are often posted on the internet.

  8. Anon: do you really think that Miranda should air her dirty laundry in public? Write mean stuff about her kids in a place where they and their friends can read it? I don't diss my husband or children in public forums, it is the only polite way to conduct one's life, IMO. There are less than positive aspects of Miranda's children's life mentioned in her blog from time to time, but they can't be emphasised too much without breaking the rules of polite family behaviour.

    Miranda: I understand exactly how violated you might feel by this. I am an extrovert, and I go round telling people lots about myself IRL, like you are doing in this blog. Occasionally someone makes me self-conscious at my level of exposure to the world, and makes me wonder if all the non-commenters are secretly harbouring mean thoughts too. A very exposed feeling. *Hug*

  9. Anonymous4:05 p.m.

    It does seem like you have the perfect life which we all aspire to and can not achieve. Do any of your kids have "quirks" that worry you? If so, why not share some of those issues and how you're dealing with them. Maybe they are perfect or almost perfect as it seems in this blog.

  10. I used to share more of this sort of thing, Anon. Here's a post from 2005 about Erin, then 11. And another primarily about Noah's computer use. You'll also find sprinklings of the frustrating and the mundane in the "Day in the Life" and "Ugly Face of Reality" tagged posts.

    But my kids are now all web-savvy bloggers and on-line social networkers in their own right and that sort of post would now be perceived by them as a serious and unforgivable invasion of privacy. Have I mentioned how introverted and perfectionistic they are?! My kids read my blog -- and so do many of the adult friends they love and admire. They would be mortified if I raised here concerns about their attention to health and personal hygeine, discussed their fears and tears, pondered their idiosycracies. It's akin to blogging about your marital issues without your spouse's consent.

    I've read a lot of homeschooling family blogs where there are warts-and-all discussions about life with young children. But I have yet to encounter that type of blog about a family with kids in the adolescent/teen years. I think those other parents' reasons are probably the same as mine. And I expect you'll understand as your kids get older.

  11. I am not quite sure why you have taken it upon yourself to suggest what another person should or should not include in their own personal record of their life?

    Nor do I understand how this blog does a disservice to me as a mother. Why do you feel so threatened by what you have read here? When I read this blog, which I have done for many, many years now, I don't see a perfect life and I certainly don't aspire to this life (no offence directed towards you or your life Miranda)but I am quite content with my own thank you very much and so "anonymous" should be too.

    You seem awfully perturbed by the fact that you believe the blog author is receiving some sort of gratification by deceiving her readers. By making them believe that she is better than them. Even if you are correct (which I highly doubt), who cares??? And really, you aren't giving us readers much credit are you?

    Beccy's comment makes complete sense. I too blog and my children do read my blog. One really has to filter the content when their subjects are there monitoring what is being written. More than once I have been asked to remove a post or a particular picture by one of my children.

    I wasn't going to get involved in this conversation but your latest comment irked me all that much more. I'd be less bothered if you were posting with a name, heck even a fake name! I'd be less troubled and less inclined to jump in if you simply came out and said, "This blog is a crock of sh#$%!" and left it at that. To not only criticize, but then have the audacity to suggest what somebody else should blog about just seems ludicrous to me. If you don't like the blog, don't read it. It's pretty simple.

  12. Miranda
    Thank you for sharing what you do. Many of us appreciate your insights and your intent and gain a lot from what you choose to share.

    Anon - a blog is not a "life". It is a snapshot of what the author wishes to share with those who want to read - nothing more and nothing less. You seem to be confused by the intent and the content of this blog. Maturity would suggest that you move on to something that meets your needs more closely rather than lashing out in jealousy. Your unkindness speaks volumes, as does Miranda's kindness in responding to you.

  13. How very bizarre. This is Blogger - it's not a 'public forum with a slant towards parents of musical/gifted children'. Everyone who blogs is selective to an extent. Everyone who reads blogs chooses what to read. I'm sure there are plenty of gloomy, depressing blogs for Anon to read instead of Miranda's. I'm mystified that Anon seems to be saying that a positive view of family life should be censored in some way.

    Of course there are things to be envious of in Miranda's life. Who wouldn't want to live in such a beautiful area and be able to enjoy their children's company, and be so involved in their music and education in general, not to mention being able to make maths fun and accessible. But I daresay Miranda might envy things about other people's lives: the fact of being able to see world class orchestras and soloists within a 15 minute journey from home; access to school facilities with not just a full symphony orchestra but also a baroque orchestra and any number of chamber groups; close proximity to Europe; parents who can teach their children 5 European languages (plus dredging up a bit of Old Icelandic if one of them really puts their mind to it).

    Spending time with Miranda and her family a couple of years ago was one of the high point of our holiday in BC. Hospitable, fun, kind, ironic, wry (Canadian??), and just basically themselves. Our children, who have very acute 'fraud sensors' gelled with her children. Yes, they have a life we don't have. We have a life they don't have.


  14. Anonymous9:13 p.m.

    Sorry to be confusing with so many anonymous folks...

    This must be an Internet record. The first time anyone on the Internet got bugged by a happy picture of a kind on a swing.

    It is hard for me to get working up such a lather over someone's blog you don't know. The Internet is a big place and there are plenty of other places to play.

  15. Anonymous7:15 p.m.

    My kids love Miranda's blog. And I love being in an internet community of homeschoolers who know a bit about the basic fabrics of each others lives. Online connections are valuable sources of information and support, especially for "atypical" homeschoolers like Miranda. And should we chance to meet our internet acquaintances, we often find that our interactions are more like those of old friends rather than people we've just met. What a treat.

    We've had a blog for two years. It remains empty because we haven't decided how we want to share it, being unwilling to expose our lives to negative attention and loss of privacy. Unfortunately if I posted the stuff that would be most interesting to my homeschool friends, a troll could track us down with a one word internet search. Too bad...


  16. Anonymous11:05 a.m.

    Dear Miranda,

    Please do not let your heart be troubled by the unkind and "unloving" comment. Personally I feel sad that she identifies herself as a Christian, missionary, and a happy, flying child can trigger so much pain and anger in her heart.

    Just to let you know Anon: You are in my prayers, so are you Miranda, and family, and I wish that you are blessed and loved. There are many people out there who feel privileged being part of your family. Thanks for taking the courage to share.

    With kind love,

  17. Oh my goodness! I see why the muse has departed for a season. I would be so furious, hurt, confused... if someone posted that junk on my blog. Oh wait, they have. You know that I do? Delete! Because they aren't worth wasting my time typing a response.

    Your blog is for you and you post whatever you darn well please on it. I for one prefer reading blogs that have a positive tone rather than those who whine and moan all day long about this that or the other.

    Anyone who has a lick of common sense knows your blog isn't intended to portray idealism but is just a snapshot of what you find interesting. As it should be. It's what I like about it.

    Hope this nonsense doesn't derail you too long. Would be a shame to let something as good as your blog be stopped by something as dumb as that person who has nothing better to do than wander from blog to blog posting such drivel.

  18. Erin, thanks for your kindness. I knew I could have deleted those comments, but somehow that seemed dishonest. As if I was pretending, through selective approval of comments, that the whole world appreciated my blog and agreed with my posts. Who knows. Maybe I should have deleted.

  19. Yes, I am sure you thought about deleting them and had your reasons for answering them instead. I've gone around a few times on that one myself. Then I decided I was getting unduly upset and giving too much power to someone who has nothing better to do than post this kind of stuff. Like a playground bully...ignoring them takes the wind out of their sails? But sometimes it's worth it to confront stuff like this. If nothing else you had a lot of other lurkers come out of the woodwork in your support!

    BTW, love the new banner. :)


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