Oh Blog Dee, Oh Blog. . . Blah

I began this post a while ago.

It was going nowhere; I wasn’t even enjoying writing it.

The first draft was a list of reasons why I haven’t posted in so long. Each numbered reason went into long, meaningless detail about all these recent distracting nuances in my life—all of which have apparently prevented me from updating this site.

I deleted all the blabber. And, here you go, I saved you about 2,000 words of your time:

THE REASONS (abridged)

  1. I lost my sense of smell and taste.

          It’s back.

      2. My cat died. (RIP, Elle!)

          I adopted two new ones.

      3. My kid was diagnosed with a rare auto-inflammatory disease.

          But he’s perfectly fine.

     4.  I’ve been taking online courses.

          They finished in November.

     5.  I turned 40.

          Unexpectedly.

     6.  My laptop keyboard was broken.

          It was replaced in November.

      7.  I’ve had ghostwriting gigs.

           Well, one. And it’s done.

      8.  Strangers on the internet bashed one of my last pieces. Like really tore it apart.

           But . . .  they read it.

      9.  I don’t have a proper writing space.

            Find one.

     10.  Pieces on a blog are hard to get published. Editors want original material.

            So post something. . . anything. Post this.

These aren’t reasons. These are pretty bad excuses.

It got me wondering what the real reason is? Which one of those ten reasons has put me at a screeching halt? None of them really seem give-up worthy. They all really seem like no big deal at all, quite honestly.

Well, after much soul searching, the votes are in. . .

It was Number Eight. Go ahead, go back and look.

Number Eight was published by a very popular mommy blog (here) . Not once (February). Not twice (August), but three times (October). Can you say thrice there?

It’s not my favorite piece, nor my best. I was actually rather surprised when my submission was accepted.

In the essay, the narrator (me) bashes what she sees on her social media feed.  What these moms and families are portraying, she perceives as fake and unrealistic. She’s angry. She’s tired. She’s jealous. She’s lost.

“Oh, and then there’s the obligatory happy family pictures at adorable places. You’ve seen it. Look at us! We are so happy and coincidentally wearing coordinating outfits at the beach. Look at us! We are so happy and laughing hysterically at this trendy restaurant where our children are behaving perfectly. Look at us! We are so happy and just in love with life at this park. Look at us! We ski. We vacation. We snuggle. We hike. We smile all f*cking day long.

Stop it now. Because no, no you don’t.”

She’s drowning in her new role of motherhood, unsure of her ability to be a good mom.

Her perception of these Facebook friends gradually shifts as she comes into her own in her role as “Mom.” She becomes less uptight and more self-assured as the essay ages.

I intended for her relationship with social media to be a metaphor of her emotional state through different phases of motherhood.

But I guess that’s not exactly how most of the readers interpreted the piece, now is it?

These readers obviously took my words very personally and they didn’t hold back. They attacked. They abused. They diagnosed (I need to seek help. This was suggested over 300 times), but not in a sympathetic way, in a cruel, demanding way.

They stomped and spit on person they’ve never met. And it was published thrice! So, it just kept happening.

I didn’t even read the comments in the most recent posting.

I’m just a girl standing in front of a screen trying to make a metaphor. Anyone?

It dawned on me that none of the trolls commented on the writing (and that’s really all I care about). They commented on the content. But they read it. . .

Oh, they read it alright. And, it impassioned them. It infuriated them. It affected them.

Then I guess I might be doing something right then after all, huh?

Until next time. . .

To My Firstborn. . . I’m Sorry

Dear S.H.

I’m sorry I couldn’t deliver you naturally, like I had planned, and that your first vision in this world was my bloody abdominal cavity torn open with my intestines lying beside me. It was so worth it. I promise.

But baby, sometimes things don’t go according to plan and—despite your disappointment—you’ll need to roll with the punches and trust in those who know more than you.

I’m sorry you were born in September, which will make your school age a little wacky. There will be some kids in your class a year older and some a whole year younger.

But kiddo, all through your life you’ll encounter kids older, younger, bigger, smaller, smarter, faster. Try not to be intimidated (I know it’s hard), and always be kind. Kindness gets you the furthest.

I’m sorry I used to put you to bed at 4:45pm. Oh, your grandmothers used to worry that I wasn’t giving you a life. But you were six months old! Socially you weren’t missing out on much. I promise.

But sweetheart, thank you for giving Mommy and Daddy a few hours alone to connect. It gave us the time to catch up on each other’s lives, but we mainly only talked about how wonderful you are. Quality time is more fulfilling than screen time. I hope we raise you to realize that.

I’m sorry I made you cry it out as an infant. I bet you didn’t know that I was crying too. But then Daddy came in and threw me out of the house (out of love!) because I wasn’t “up for the task.” Daddy likes to fix things and we weren’t being cruel. I promise.

But honey, as you grow up, we’ll do a lot of things that you won’t find fair. You’ll be mad at us and probably say things you don’t mean. It will be hard on us too. Parenting isn’t easy, but you make it worth it.

I’m sorry I got pregnant with your brother so soon and that you and I only had 15 months alone together, but your father and I had all that alone time due to the 4:45pm bedtime and . . .

But buddy, thank you for being such a kind, gentle and protective big brother. That crazy, little guy will be your very best friend one day. I promise.

I’m sorry I never cut your wild, blond curls as a baby and now you hate haircuts and still have your messy, signature coif. It looks perfect. I promise.

But dude, that look is yours. If you love it, own it. I will never force you to cut it short, or shave it. If you love it, I love it. And screw anyone who might mock it.

I’m sorry I chose to stop nursing you when your brother was born. But, there’s only so much boob sucking a woman can take in a day. You were thriving and didn’t protest at all. I promise.

But love, your newborn brother needed it more than you, so I gave to the one who needed it more. Share your lunch with a friend who’s hungry, tip generously and donate. If you don’t have money to donate, donate your blood. Someone needs it more than you.

I’m sorry I made you take music classes, swimming lessons, art, gymnastics, karate, and guitar without asking you. You probably don’t remember back then, but you enjoyed them all. I promise.

But handsome, our home is my job and sometimes you’ve just got to leave the office. Remember that.

I’m sorry I put your training wheels back on after you learned to ride a bike. But you were sobbing and begged me to because you were scared. It’s okay to be scared. I promise.

But sport, I enabled you to stay comfortable, when I knew you could soar. Listen to adults who believe in you: teachers, coaches, professors, bosses. They’ll see gifts in you long before you believe in yourself.

I’m sorry you won’t grow up with Grandma alive. I hope somehow during your three short years with her that you’ll remember some of the memories. She loved you and your brother so very much. Even though she’s no longer with us, she’ll always be with you. I promise.

But darling, she waited for you and your brother. She was sick a very long time before an angel gave her wings. She just couldn’t leave this earth without meeting you two first.

I’m sorry it may seem like I let your brother off the hook more than I did for you.

But goose, it took me a while to find out who I’d be as a mother. I was anxious and awkward with you. Once your brother arrived, I knew what was important to our family, and what I could let go.

I’m sorry I don’t read to you as often at night anymore. You can do it yourself now. And I miss it too. Let’s go to the library and choose some longer books that we can read together this summer. Have you heard of Harry Potter? Do you promise? I promise.

But bud, do you know I sometimes stand in your doorway watching you read to yourself? I am so proud that you get excited over a new book, even a new bookmark. Maybe you are a little like your mommy? Keep reading. You’ll be smarter, more compassionate and you’ll always have an escape. A good book is even better than a Minecraft world.

I’m sorry you might catch me staring at you sometimes with a strange look. I just can’t believe how far we’ve come; and I’m by your side for the long haul. I promise.

But beautiful, a mother’s stare is so much more than a gaze. In those moments I see you as many things: I see the precious baby I once cradled, the little boy I have now and the good man I’m raising, all combined into one blond haired, blue eyed, gentle soul.

I’m sorry but I need to go now. I could go on and on.

But my dear, I’ve made mistakes, and you will too. It’s always okay to admit you were wrong. And it’s always okay to say I’m sorry. 

Love, Mommy

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this, perhaps you’d enjoy 10 REASONS I WANT A THIRD KID (even though I hated babies)  xo, Emme

 

 

Spider-Man, Please Save Us

When I started this blog three months ago, my goal was to write one post a week. As pieces are now being published and traffic increases, I’ve been stricter with that goal, to keep momentum and the blog current.

Last week, however, I wrote nothing. There was nothing I could say.

It just didn’t feel right to sit here writing ridiculous Top Ten pieces for this pseudo mom blog while there are seventeen moms in Florida who are burying their children.

I felt that if I posted my usual whimsical musings about motherhood that it would seem trite, like I was ignoring the situation.

However, I don’t feel it’s my place to write about what happened in Parkland. What can I possibly write that everyone isn’t already feeling?

I know people are writing about their take on gun laws and mental illness. I’ve read them all and I have my opinions. I hate guns and I don’t know enough about mental illness to weigh in on that. So that sums that up.

I started thinking about why this shooting is so much more than just a headline. Why am I feeling it so much more profoundly than all the other terrible headlines in the news?

Is it because I send my own kids to a school every day? (Click here to read about when I heard sirens and thought there was a shooting at my kids’ school).

Is it because my maternal empathy gets greater as my children get older?

Is it because the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas are kicking ass and making it impossible to forget them?

Is it because shootings a have become so commonplace that it’s just a matter of time before it intimately affects my community?

Am I experiencing some misplaced form of survivor’s guilt? Not guilt as in “I am lucky to have survived,” but guilt as in “it wasn’t my turn now, but it will be soon.

I live in a suburb of New York City. After 9/11 everyone had a story. Everyone either had known someone who had been lost in the attack, or knew someone who knew someone. Everyone had their own personal tales of terror that day, whether they were in the city covered with soot, or standing across the Hudson, watching.

Are shootings becoming that prevalent that soon we will all be connected to them by six degrees of separation?

One of my Facebook friends, Jill, lives in Parkland, Florida. Her children are too young to be in the high school, but old enough to know that something terrible happened.

When I tucked my boys in last Wednesday, I read them a Spider-Man comic book. Fictitious villains did screwed up things to innocent people and Spider-Man swings in and makes it all better.

Jill, however, had to tuck her girls in and tell them a true story. A story that little kids shouldn’t be hearing.

A story that even Spider-Man can’t make all better.