Discovering the Hidden Side of my Son

Burf12345. Turns out that’s my eldest son’s user name on the gaming site where he’s a regular blogger! While he’s occasionally mumbled about blogging about gaming, he wouldn’t say where. Yesterday was the big reveal. He told me the name of the website.

Like any mother would, I went to check out what he’s been doing for the past three months, a little nervous that I would discover all sorts of subversive or violent content generated by my little 14-year-old angel. But I was relieved to discover that his “dark” side was far more beige than black.

(A little background: Raising English speaking children in a non-English speaking country is challenging. I spend lots of money on private English lessons and do lots of nagging about reading books. Burf/Amit’s English teacher constantly voices her concern about the fact that he hates writing, so I’ve that’s been a worry as eventually he’ll have to pass high school exams in English here too.)

To my amazement, I unearthed treasure in his blog posts. While most of the subject matter is as foreign to me as putting away laundry is to my children, I was overjoyed by the fluency of his writing. I did find several grammar mistakes, which I pointed out to him. And to my shock, he hurried off to his laptop and corrected his texts without argument (although he did call me The Grammar Nazi at one point, but I take that as a compliment.)

What really got me was his confidence: As a writer by profession, I agonize before pressing the “publish” button on my WordPress dashboard. Amit writes with enviable abandon, disregarding convention and embracing the openness of the internet as he makes his young voice heard. His reward: A respectable placing on the blogger rankings on his site, hundreds of comments and high scores on each of his blogs.

When I saw the flood of comments, I was quite frankly, very proud – someone’s reading my boy’s writing. Then the mommy in me kicked in when I saw a critical comment. I was ready to post a fuming rebuttal comment on this gaming site I can’t comprehend just to be able to tell off some 18-year old user for bad-mouthing my baby. Just as well you have to register before you can post comments or I would have mortified my son. Apparently the registration process is not just an admin tool for the website owners but also an effective cooling off device for irate mommies of bloggers.

So I calmed down and left the website, happy to know that Amit is practicing his English creative writing in a way that may be less than conventional to my generation, but that works just fine for him. And what’s more, it’s encouraged me to take a page from his book and be less uptight about my own writing. It’s good to learn from your kids – thanks Burf12345.

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