To this point… everyone has been kind and encouraging. Though I’ve heard from other bloggers that tell me one of these days I’m going to write a post that will upset people… and they’ll let me know in the most horrific of ways… attacking everything about me.
Take Nerdy Apple Bottom for instance. She wrote this amazing blog about her son’s choice of Halloween costume a few weeks ago. The darling 5 year old is a Scooby Doo fanatic and chose to dress as the ever-fabulous, adventurous, groovy Daphne. A purple and orange high heeled glory with a fabulous wig! He wore it with pride… but faced embarrassment and criticism from the looks on the faces of folk who thought it was an inappropriate costume for a “boy” to wear… even at five years of age he felt the judgement. After a few days of carrying around the anger… Nerdy expressed her feelings in her blog and it went viral… pushed through social media by the power of a mother bear pissed. Within a short period of time she had over forty thousand comments… most of them encouraging her… but some of them downright nasty. She was criticized for what she wrote, attacked for her parenting and left to defend herself in the public eye.
Like Nerdy… I think of my audience when I write. There’s my mom and dad… my in laws and family… my ex and my children to think about as I pound out the keys on the keyboard. (And yes… I consider my ex… usually on the days I pound just that little bit harder!) Sometimes I get it right… other times I don’t. For instance, if my mom didn’t read I’d probably show my potty mouth a lot more than I actually do. But the reality is… does everyone really want to hear my crass language all the time? Probably not. (But if you swear like me, throw in a few F bombs now and then and you’ll “hear” the way I think!)
I’m extremely aware of the impact a story I might find amusing will have on my children. Often I have something written then delete the entire thing. While I might find something cute and adorable, darling and sweet, annoying and frustrating… I have to remember that I’m just a regular mom who embarrasses her children on a daily basis just by being their mom. Not that I’m doing anything wrong… but that kids are kids. I’m reminded of Mother’s Day at Brownies when my lovely mother (the one who can’t stand the cursing) raised her hand to ask a question and I’ve never lived the moment down! She did nothing wrong… but the shy monster who lived inside me (I’ve since killed the horrid beast) was mortified. So, I keep my children and their feelings in mind before I hit the Publish button… often removing things you’d really enjoy… but my kids probably wouldn’t.
I also don’t write when I’m angry. Take last week for instance… there were three days in a row that I didn’t write a thing… and let me tell you it was a (insert potty mouth here) good thing. I sulked, brooded, talked to my girlfriends and my horribly embarrassing mother… had a few extra glasses of wine… but I did not write. (See… normally I wouldn’t write this as I wouldn’t want someone who annoyed me knowing that I was annoyed!! But I’ll leave it here for now and if you don’t see it when you read it… I decided to delete it!)
I write because I have to. I’ve kept a diary for as long as I can remember but I’ve always wanted more. I thought I’d have a magazine column… be a famous author… write more than my family’s Christmas newsletter! I’m at a point in my life that I’m following the idea of “do what you love and the rest will follow”. So I’m getting my feet wet with this writing dream I’ve always had… and I’ll see what happens.
I’m a better mom when I view the world through my “writing” eyes as often I don’t exactly always feel the things I write… but when I write them… I change the way I feel. I’m reaching out to strangers who quite often feel the exact way that I do. It’s cheaper than therapy. Cheaper than booze. And yes… I do it because I love the comments… love what you have to say… love when something I say touches another person… makes you laugh or cry or think. When you respond… when you feel the same way… it makes me feel normal and on my craziest days… sane in a really messed up world.
Nerdy wrote a blog that went viral and had the most amazing message in it. She wrote it for herself and a few hundred readers… not realizing that hundreds of thousands would actually read it. I’d imagine if she’d known she was writing for that many folk… she might have taken a little more time to get it just right… change a few things… but it wouldn’t have sounded the same. Her raw and emotion-ful post taught us that we could all learn to be a bit more compassionate and a little less judgemental.
Steph… for the beautiful email I received from you yesterday… I thank you. We all look for a connection to our past… to our present. We’re all looking for the place we belong. We want to feel validated and special. On the days that tire us we’re looking for someone to pick us up. When we feel passionate about something we look for someone who feels the same. When we’re going just that little bit crazy… we’re looking for someone to pull us to the ground. I’m glad I’ve made you laugh… tugged your heartstrings… made you think. Keep reading and commenting. I’m writing for you to read. Chances are I’d write regardless… as there’s a deep need inside me just to write. I’m doing this for me… but how wonderful it is to know I’m not alone.
As none of us ever want to feel alone.
Or judged… just ask Nerdy Apple Bottom’s little boy. He just wanted to dress as Daphne for Halloween.
I appreciate all of your writing. And love that you are part of this 'community' and lend me some insight into it as well.
One year, my then 5 year old made his dad dress as Daphne as we were a family going out dressed as the "gang"…. LOL
My little boy used to love to play with dolls and wanted to be with all the little girls instead of do what all the boys were doing. He is 9. He used to love Star Wars. Now, he loves skateboarding and hockey. His best friend is a boy. He is the first to hang out with the younger sister of his friends when the big brother doesn't want her around because he wants to make sure she doesn't feel left out. He wants a little sister. When there is dress up, he is the one to pick the dress and he loves to see the reaction of the "grownups". He loves to wear the colour pink. He is 9. He is a strong,self confident, emotional, loving and caring boy. I am thankful every day that he used to love to play with dolls.