On Being Leta

So I was thinking this morning about what it will be like to be Leta in a few years. Because, in a way, she’s becoming a celebrity. Why? Well, Dooce is very clearly widely read. I’ve no idea what her stats are like, but I’d imagine thousands of readers every day. And all of us are learning this slightly-skewed version of Leta’s life, from conception to birth and now, as she goes through life. Not only that, but we see her change, thanks to the amazing photographic skills of that family. It, in some ways, as if she had her very own Entertainment Weekly devoted entirely to her foibles.

Leta, when she’s a teenager, could be quite possibly one of the first “famous just for being famous” people who entire fame stems from her appearance in blogs (ok, one blog). I mean, if Dooce continues apace, Leta will likely be well-known enough, by enough people in enough different places, that she will be recognizable, at least vaguely, to small percentage of the North American population, which means, should she travel, strangers might walk up to her and say “Hey!? Aren’t you Leta? I remember you when you were this big!” Which is a little sweet and a little creepy.

Worse, will we one day actually see paparazzi pictures of her start to show up, much like we suddenly started seeing pictures of the Hilton girls, just because she was “known”, despite not really having done anything to deserve this (I realize that wealth has a lot to do with the Hilton factor, so perhaps not), or other children-of-celebrities, who get covered by the gossip-rags, even if their lives are not terribly interesting, but still sell copies due to name-recognition?

I wonder if Dooce will at some point stop posting about Leta, much like celebrities seem to parade their infants around proudly, only to them hide them away (probably rightly so) until suddenly, you look up one day and bam! Colin Hanks is starring in a movie. And you’re like “Tom Hanks has a grown-up kid?” Or will Leta suffer the fate of child-stars, and have her every act documented and criticized by an uncaring public?

And I say all this not to judge Dooce in any way – I love her site, her writing, and reading about raising Leta. But I’m wondering about how much I should post, or will post about my own child. What sort of stories do I share, and what stories do I not? And I only get dozens of readers, so a much smaller base of people who could do evil things with my content. And of course, does my child, at age, say, 12, really want to know that I dropped him or her at age, 2, or that I was worried about he or she being developmentally challenged, or any of the million fears and worries that will occurr to me while this small critter grows up before me? And do I always have the right to write about my child? Or at some point, do I have to sit down with them and ask their permission?