"...and don't make me tell you again! Damn silly string! What, exactly, was your plan for getting it off the ceiling fan, huh?"
Oh, hello. Sorry about that. Just another day in the life of Yours Truly and the 'Shoulda Gone to the Movies that Night' Dancers. We do seven shows a week, two on Sundays if we run out of hair gel.
I'm definitely ready for summer to be over; so ready, in fact, that any sass on the subject is likely to earn you the back o' my hand, bloggily speaking.
And don't give me any crap over 'bloggily.'
Or 'crap', for that matter. SO not in the mood.
Yes, apparently I'm a teensy bit cranky. Which is why I responded to this post with all the pleasantness of a vampire in a raisin factory.
Here's the thing: The older I get, the harder it is for me to get particularly jazzed about labels. I may be your piano teacher, your neighbor, your reason for giving up fudge while there's still hope for your rear end, and hey, if that helps keep your speed dial organized, knock yourself out.
But there are really only a few actual "who I am to you"s that I'm comfortable wearing all the time.
And hard on the heels of "Wife" -- is "Mom."
I currently have 40 music students. In my non-secular life, I teach an average of 50 people in any given class; some more, some less, hence the use of the word "average." I speak to audiences of anywhere from 15 to 1,500 nappers. I write to two-hundred-and-something confirmed blog followers, and a handful of people who clicked "next" on that blue bar without having any idea of what they were getting themselves into.
I have four children.
And they have exactly one mother.
Now, I'm going to share something surprising with you: I'm not a "cheerleader" type of writer. You won't find a lot of "Go, Team! Moms! Moms! Our lives have purpose! Yes they do! Don't go telling me they don't!" on my blog.
Not really my cuppa, y' know?
My message is usually along the lines of, "It's hard. Remember that before you start fooling around."
When a member of Harry Reid's staff contacted me a few months ago and invited me to join a conference call with several other "Mommy Bloggers," she had enough sensitivity to assure me that she meant no offense. I had no idea what she was talking about. I wondered if she had used a lowercase "N" in "DeNae." It took me a couple of readings to figure out she was talking about "Mommy Blogger". Why would I be offended by that label? It's true that I haven't been called "Mommy" for a long time, but so? I haven't been called by my maiden name for a long time, either, but that doesn't mean I'd be bugged if that was how you knew me. (It's "Humperdink," by the way.)
So I assured her I was just fine with being called a "Mommy Blogger," just don't call me late for the Sundae Bar, ha ha, and happily joined the other bloggers and Senator Reid on the phone.
A few weeks later, I was in a focus group comprised of women bloggers, and the subject came up again. Wha--? What's all this fuss over "Mommy Blogger" anyway?
Yeah, I guess all this full-time parenting has just rendered me a clueless old dingbat, a change of status from 'clueless young dingbat,' which apparently was what I must have been when I decided to make my first, lifetime priority the care and rearing of the four humans I, with malice aforethought, brought onto the planet. (It's true that my husband had to call me on 9/11 and insist I change the channel from Nickelodeon to NBC, as I had not yet heard what was happening in the real world. But that is totally beside the point.)
I'm a dingbat because I had no idea how the smart, savvy, and sophisticated world of blogging viewed women who blog about their families, expect to be read by others who are actually interested in what they have to say, and hope to perhaps use their blogs as a means of marketing products and services to those readers.
I mean, it's one thing if you are a web designer, and you call yourself "The Web Designing Blogger," and you expect people who are interested in web design to read your blog, and maybe even hire you to design their web sites. That's totally understandable. Hell, that's smart marketing! Great branding! Know your audience! Give 'em what they want!
But "brand" yourself a "MOTHER"? Write a blog aimed at other mothers? Provide ideas, products, and services to women just like you? Pardon me while I roll my eyes and write you out of the universe.
So, while it's unlikely that you'll find many dewy-eyed comparisons of wiping snot out of your hair to the cleansing powers of repentance over here in my Backordered corner of the blogosphere, I think you should know that it's only because I'm not very good at writing stuff like that.
But I am not ashamed that I was a mother -- a Mommy -- long before I was a blogger. I may be standing on the back row, tossing peanuts down your shirt and hiding behind the potted fern, but I want you to know, I'm right here with you. You're doing a good thing. You're swell gals.
And I'm proud to be one of you.
(Now, got any suggestions on how to get Silly String off a twelve-foot ceiling?)