Thursday, August 30, 2007

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Okay, so I haven't really been on vacation. It's just been some more great weeks with a one-year-old who is now walking. Noah is so proud of himself! My husband and I got him his first pair of shoes last week - Stride Rite Derbys size 5 extra wide in navy blue - and our boy loves them at least as much as we do. The first day he had them on he walked up and down our driveway about ten times, across the street to see the chickens who live there, back and forth along our street. He didn't want to come inside. It's a whole new world, now that he's on his feet. He looked at the laces "Dat! Dat! Dat!" He gnawed on the soles. My heart grew another size.

But anyway, I didn't want to blog again until I'd gotten around on the internet as I promised myself I would, to actually seek out some other mom-writers' blogs to help me feel less like an alien with a serious egocentrism problem. Or at least, to help me find the other struggling aliens on the planet. And I did my homework! There's a heck of a lot out there, (of course, right?) and a lot of it kind of shocked me with the amount of intimate information, graphic swearing, personal photographs and such. Am I the only one concerned about having my uniquely identifying information floating out in cyberspace for anyone to review, critique, and use to exploit me?

That said, in this New American Neighborhood called the internet I found three sites, or I guess I can actually say three women, that I liked right away for different reasons. The first and the one I responded to most quickly is www.notesfromthetrenches.com, and her companion blog, www.inthetrenchesofmotherhood.com - this woman has 7 children and an awesome list of 40 things she wants to do before she turns 40. It's the "life list" that Ellen DeGeneres and many others talk about. You know, the one that I should be working on right now instead of distracting myself with things that likely won't enhance my long-term quality of life at all?

The other two sites I liked enough to bookmark are www.threekidcircus.com and www.mothergoosemouse.com. "Threekid" posted a few days ago about writing from her closet, which she is turning into an office. This tickled my funny bone to no end, because I am forever joking with friends after going to an event with lots of people or delivering a training to a big group that I need to go sit in my closet for a few hours to recoup my energies. "Mothergoose" has a splashpage and some F-bombs that I didn't take to write away, but as I read a few of her posts I was drawn in by many things, not the least of which was that she recently quoted a Talking Heads song. She also had some great weather pictures in and around her home in Colorado, with wry text to usher them along.

So three women out there doing some great writing about parenting and real life as a mother. I find this very heartening, because of course it means there are really thousands of others trying to find their way as a mom and a writer just like me. I also find it a bit intimidating, because of course it means that anyone can have a blog (and they do, just like me) and put their life tidbits out there and what's the point? That big question always lurks - why bother? I hate this question because there's no great answer that doesn't just sound like the goody-goody saying something in the face of the much cooler, sexier, more sophisticated looking person who then of course has to be the more miserable one in this scenario because she isn't doing anything for herself, while we humble but more self-aware people are trying much harder to get it right and lead good satisfying lives. (Did I ever mention that my astrological sign is Leo? By all accounts, Leos can be at least sometimes arrogant about what they think they know, and I know that I am no exception.)

But presumably, arrogance aside, these women, and me too, are putting it out there because it helps. It helps us. And in this world, we can only start there. Being so attentive to the diverse needs of someone else, my little son someone, there is not much I seem to be able to do to help myself in the ways I used to. So I muddle back to this new lifeline, and press on, hoping it matters. My next assignment - post comments to these new women I've become aware of living lives across the country, to introduce myself and extend a hand. It feels a little like my first day of school.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Helloooo Out There...

I have been lamenting lately that I don't know any women or men with children my age whom I am really close with who are staying home with their children. Lamenting is maybe putting it too strongly, it's more like noticing. I am blessed with great friends, and am not necessarily looking (or even able to make room) for more close friends, but do notice that I don't have that commonality with those in my close circle around being a new mom and most recently, an at-home mom too. I have gotten out to one library story hour, but have yet to attend a play group, mostly because the people energy I have goes towards maintaining my existing friendships and family relationships. So there it is. I can't even clearly measure how important my need is to have additional connections, I only know that the isolation that I feel around being Noah's primary caregiver goes beyond what I can talk about easily with most people in my life right now.

Saying "I feel isolated," just doesn't seem to carry the emotion I have about it. "I feel massively responsible," gets closer. "I feel alone in this full-time mission to keep him not just alive, but happy, healthy, and thriving, while being a full-time witness to his early life" might sum up the whole kitten kaboodle, but still isn't specific enough. It's that it's tough luck if I don't feel like putting him to bed on a night when it takes an hour instead of ten minutes. Or how annoying it is wiping slung food particles off the kitchen tile after every meal, trying to focus on how exciting it is that Noah is learning to eat and sometimes even with a fork. Or how when Noah gives a glowing smile after walking, or stacking a block tower seven blocks high, there is no other adult for me to turn to and say - "How amazing is this?" Or when my husband is at work, how it is just me and Noah here. For many days in a row.

There is nothing like it, and I know the answer is not to whine for a long time but to go out and ask the universe for what I want. So my goal is to start engaging a bit more in the blogosphere to find some similarly situated bloggers - perhaps cyberspace is the new YWCA group for a mom like me? Where I can connect without taking on more than I can handle? Here I go - I hope to see you in the ether.