In perpetuity

They—the experts, the prognosticators, the watchdogs—warn that what one sends out to the internet remains there forever. Status updates, emails, blog posts, all exist in perpetuity in the world wide web.

This fact fills me with dread and not only because I’ve written things which I hope will be quickly forgotten—indeed I have. There are posts I’ve published that are just bad, others that are just plain embarrassing, and still others that I ought never have written in the first place.

I’m pretending none of you are now searching my archives for any such crimes against the written word.

That is, none of you among the ten or so remaining among my loyal readership.

Yes, those early posts, and no doubt some of the latter, are certainly cause for dread. However, I worry mostly about my children in the distant future dusting off the ancient archives of what we once knew as the internet, pulling up my confessions and conundrums, and reading them. Not that they don’t read them now, they do. But what difference will years, decades even, make?

I think particularly of my younger two children whose dedicated word count here on the blog is decidedly less than that of their older two brothers. Will they understand their mom got tired, the blogging got hard, the words grew elusive, and the comparative silence here in this space wasn’t evidence of a lack of feeling but more likely the complete opposite?

Case in point: our number three son graduated from high school a couple of weeks ago. Can you believe it? I can not. Our contrary child, determined to march to any beat but that of his brothers, graduated and I am so proud. Yet there was no post commemorating the depth of my emotion, no lament over the quick of passage of time, no tribute to grace of the Lord sustaining us thus far; not because I had nothing to say but more that I had no words to say it.

All the beautiful expressions of nostalgia and bittersweet happiness that I’ve described before in relation to numbers one and two sons and their particular milestones; it is the same and more so as we celebrate the accomplishments and future of this son. He remains his own man, full of surprise and the occasional contradiction, and we are grateful to God for him, far more than any mere blog post can express.

So whether or not these words and this blog continue on among relics of internet past, I pray all my guys will know how very much they were loved and how very grateful their parents were for every day and every minute. What love and what joy we have known, in perpetuity.

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Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

3 thoughts on “In perpetuity”

  1. I love how you put this, and it’s something I’ve felt many times- ‘not because I had nothing to say but more that I had no words to say it.’

  2. The “forever” nature of what I’ve said on the internet sometimes worries me too – especially in regard to my children. Yet my worries are less that I will have written too little but that I will have written too much – and that the too much will mean that my children will be seen too much through my own eyes (hopefully loving, but all too often frustrated or anxious or self-congratulating) rather than being seen as they truly are or as they ought to be seen.

    Occasionally, I wish I already had a whole passel of children so I could write things like “one of my children (name withheld to protect the innocent)”. As it is, I refrain from writing some things (and probably should have refrained from more) for fear that I am reflecting poorly on Tirzah Mae (even when what I am writing probably says a whole lot more about me than about her.)

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