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April 13, 2015

Dear Mommy (Why did you share THAT online?)

Dear Mommy,

You have embarrassed me.

I realize you didn't mean to neglect my feelings or make me feel the way you have, but the damage has been done.

I'm sure you meant it when you said you wanted me to learn to be kind...and respectful..and considerate of others - but I wish you would have modeled this behavior when it came to the picture you painted of me online.

When I was a baby, did everyone need to see the private images of me nursing peacefully on your chest? Was it necessary for others to see photos of my diaper blowouts? My bouts with a fever? The way I looked while battling the stomach virus? Did you not consider how photos like this might make me feel when I became old enough to understand?

When I was a toddler, you posted pictures of me throwing tantrums. Instead of you snapping photographs, I needed you to hold me. Instead of you recording a video of the scene, I needed you to be focused on whether or not I needed to be redirected...or left alone for quiet time...or put down for a nap.

I am completely humiliated that you shared those potty-training photos...those bare-bottomed images of me in the bathtub...those undies-only snapshots of me running through the house...

As I grew older, you openly described to the world how irritated you were by my lack of effort in angry you got when I didn't behave the way you frustrated you were when I made mistakes.

At times, you even went as far as to describe our arguments, the punishments that were given to me at school, the groundings I received at home. You shared some of my most personal struggles...and some of my ugliest moments. How would you feel if someone did that to you?

What about my smiles? What about my successes? What about the accomplishments that I know made you proud? Yes, I realized you shared some of those, too - but I wish you would have thought twice about the others.

Before you really knew me...before you really understood me...before it was clear what my wishes would be, you chose to take private moments and make them public for the world.

I wish you hadn't done that.

Your Child

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