Year One: A Special Message to Readers

This blog is now one year old, and a first anniversary is as good a time as any for a quick recap.
If you’re looking to talk numbers, page views reached 50,000, posts 148, pledges taken 61, subscribers 23 and comments – alas – all of 22.

If your focus is subject matter (I refuse to call it “content”), you’ve read all about our son Michael and our daughter Caroline – my memories of how they grew up, my recognition of how well they’re turning out.

If you’re thinking publicity, letterstomykids.org (LTMK) has drawn attention from The New York Times, the Fox News Channel, The New York Daily News, Womansday.com and New York 1 News. I’ve also had the opportunity to contribute essays about my blog to The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle and Newsday.

More broadly, you’ve come across contributions from 21 guest columnists – mothers and fathers, all – to mark occasions ranging from Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day to my favorites, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

You might also have noticed the informal survey I conducted of attitudes among parents toward writing personal family history and my weeklong series offering insight into and advice about how you, too, can write “letters” to your kids – not to mention my goofy venture into Pledge Week and other occasional, perhaps vaguely ill-advised, bouts of whimsy.

But if you’re wondering what happened behind the scenes at LTMK, here’s the scoop.
First of all, my wife and kids, after some discussion and much debate, agreed to let me do my little blog here. No small deal, that, and some stuff got left on the cutting-room floor (too personal). Support for my project came from other quarters, too – from my trusty advisory board to friends, colleagues and complete strangers, including a woman who called me from Canada after seeing me on television to ask how she should go about writing letters to her kids.
Second of all, taking my personal life so public has turned out to be an experience even more profound than I ever imagined. The whole enterprise has reinforced my belief that being a father is far and away the most important job I’ll ever take on. In doing this blog, and in recounting my life piece by piece, I’ve also come to better understand myself and those closest to me – better acknowledge, appreciate and accept, too.

Above all, I’m heartened that here and there people have stepped forward to express allegiance to our modest crusade here. I’m starting to sense that the whole concept of preserving family history in writing for future generations might actually catch on.

Oh, I could also mention how I’ve struggled to master the medium of the blog in all its technical subtleties and nuances, learning as I go about hashtags and share buttons and Google Analytics.

I could touch, too, on how early on I developed a habit of checking my page views with a frequency that bordered on the pathological, as if consulting an EKG to find out how well — or how poorly – my heart was beating.

But instead, let me say this. All in all, this blog business has gone great. And I’m just getting warmed up.

So thank you.

P.S. – Questions of the day: What did you think of my first year? How can I do better?
P.S.S. – Tune in tomorrow for a preview of Year Two.

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