Tue 13 Mar 2007
yeh, i know. my fancy French numerals in these post titles aren’t exactly turning this into continental philosophy or anything. but, when i theme, folks…hell, i might as well theme grandly.
i woke up this morning to find that honours had been showered upon me…and no, for once it wasn’t just baby pee. even better. and rather serendipitous, actually…i’d just started blathering on about how i think – oh yes, such thinking going on here at the Crib this week – and then, in wacky tandem, Christy and Mrs. Chicken up and bestow Thinking Blogger awards on me! how perfectly lovely…and timely, which is unusual for me. i swear i did not offer either of them free babysitting, so i’m really quite puzzled about the kismet of it all. perhaps the planets have magically aligned in my favour and all that i say shall now become truth…oh heady fantasy. just in case, let’s pretend this post is about how i not only think, but sleep on a bed of hundred dollar bills, huh? ’til eight o clock every morning? whilst David Bowie waits at the foot of the bed to give me pedicures? and how jujubes have been found to be a health food?
alas, not quite. but i am deeply grateful for the honour…particularly coming from these two writers. Christy’s was one of the first blogs i discovered when i finally realized that there were multitudes of us out there, reflecting on what it means to raise little people and to change in the process. she relentlessly challenges her own assumptions and proves the limitlessness of love. her courage and honesty have humbled me, and given me the gumption in turn to unpack some of the more complex and cobwebby corners of my own experiences on this road. and when Christy’s not making me cry, Mrs. Chicken is. that, or causing me to spew coffee on my keyboard. she speaks freely of loss and disappointment and cheese products and working husbands and the sweetness of mothering, with a deep vein of thoughtfulness throughout. a morning without fresh chicken is like…well…worse than you’d think from the literal meaning of my words. ;)
so there. toot, goes my horn, and thanks to two great and generous bloggers, says moi. it’s amazing and rewarding to be reminded that people are out there reading…it really is.
but the fine gold (or silver, your choice) linky love props weren’t only being handed out in my direction. one of the other awards Christy bestowed went to Vicki at Speak Softly…for a post i’d likely never otherwise have found, just going to show that these marvellous head-swelling award memes actually do serve their nominally intended purpose of drawing new readers to fine posts. along with the head-swelling, which is fun too.
and Vicki, too, is wondering about what it means to blog and make community and shared meaning from the experience of parenting, but she’s pretty pissed about a potential publisher wrapping up the whole experiment in the cutesy – and therefore, inherently a little bit denigrating – package of “mommyblogging.” and so i had to think some more. damn lucky it’s my theme this week.
do i mind being called a “mommyblogger?”
as with anything, i suppose, my response is contextual. if some sneering suit is patting me on the head whilst using the word, particularly as code for “self-involved, over-privileged navel-gazing reindeer-sweater-bedecked surburban should-be soccer-mom who uses too many exclamation marks in the drivel she writes about the brats she barely takes care of…” (and i’m paraphrasing here, but i know that this view of the mommyblog exists) – then yeh. yeh, i mind. i’m not surburban, dude.
but seriously. the truth is that the notion that what many of us are doing out here is drivel is, itself, where the drivel lies. that old cesspool of contempt and derision and marginalizing condescension that so often accumulates around feminized work in our society isn’t, unfortunately, absent from the discourse surrounding the phenomenon of momblogs. or blogs by mothers. or blogs by writers who are also caregivers. as you wish. as Vicki points out, there’s no reason why all of us populating this corner of the blogosphere (while also populating the earth with our sweet offspring) can’t demand a little more dignity for what is, on both counts, pretty fine and significant work.
i know words matter. words cut and minimize and infantilize, if they are allowed to. but words also build amazing communities of thought and connection. and because so many of the women who write about their lives and their mothering write with such sharp wit and rich insight about the stereotypes that mommyhood brings with it, i want to have faith that we could, if we chose, reclaim the word “mommyblog” and make it something proud. we could wear it with the same patient, rise-above-it sense of irony with which we wear our children’s pee and spitup and mashed bananas every day. i think we could. i think we could take that snivelling little word and make it cool.
whether we want to, on the other hand, is a different conversation. how do you feel about it? what do you think about it?
finally….i also think – since this is still a blog about my boy & i, however the heck i style it – that i would like to announce that Oscar stood by himself today. for five. whole. seconds. it was beautiful, and scary.
and that’s all i can think for today.