Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Years ago, when we lived in Seattle, I took a newborn Megan and a two year old Savannah to the pediatrician for their well-baby visits. Megan had to get a few immunizations and after such a traumatic experience, promptly fell into a fitful sleep on the car ride home.
Craig travelled two weeks at a time in those days. I was by myself. With two small children. In Seattle. Where it only stops raining from July through September. And I had to stop at the post office on my way home. I don't remember what it was, but it was urgent and I had already put it off for too long. I pulled into the parking space right in front of the little post office and I could see that no one was in the store. It was steadily raining and Megan was finally sleeping peacefully. Keep in mind that I was fairly new at the whole mothering thing and if I could go back to December 1998, chances are, I wouldn't make the same decision. But in that desperate moment, I decided to take Savannah with me into the post office, lock the van, and not disturb Megan. I positioned Savannah inside the glass door to keep an eye on the van while I walked 50 feet to the counter and mailed whatever it was I had to mail, and then another 20 feet to the post office box to retrieve our mail. It took all of 5 minutes.
As I struggled with a large stack of neglected mail, a very loud, very concerned woman came rushing to the counter screaming about a baby that had been left in a car in the parking lot. The postal worker became alarmed and upset. And I wanted to crawl into that little post office box and hide. Obviously it was my car and my baby. I was the only other person in the store. The woman caught me before I got to the door. She was in her 50s, I think. And much taller and bigger than me. And she stood too close while she yelled. She asked me if I was that baby's mother and then positioned herself between me and the front door for what seemed like a decade, telling me how dangerous it was to leave a baby in a car, and how irresponsible I was, and how she could justifiably call the police and have both of my children taken away. Savannah cried. I held her hand and waited silently for the woman to finish and move out of my way so I could just get out of there and go home. And I felt like the worst mother in the entire world. For a long time.
Years later, I had a similar experience, but from the other perspective. The girls and I pulled into a parking space and noticed that the car next to us was still running. When we looked, we could see a small child and a sleeping baby in a carseat. I was worried at first. And wondered who would leave their babies in a car? But then I thought about a tiny baby Megan and what I wished that woman in Seattle had done when she saw her. The girls and I got back into our car and just waited. And we secretly watched those babies to make sure they were safe. Their mother came out very quickly from wherever she had been and drove off to wherever she was going. I'm sure she didn't even notice us sitting there. But I felt a little sisterhood with that woman I didn't even know for those few minutes while I watched her babies.
The other day, I got a frustrating email from someone regarding one of my posts. And I instantly felt like I was back in 1998 with that woman hovering over me in the post office accusing me of being irresponsible.
I think there should be some kind of bloggy sisterhood that we all belong to.
I realize there are lots of different types of blogs and bloggers out there, but the mommy/crafty/lifestyle/photography/cooking ones are mostly blogging for essentially the same reasons. We have something to say and this is a convenient place to say it. We want to remember things or share things or testify of things or just try out public journaling. Most of us aren't expecting millions of dollars or hoping for worldwide acclaim. Most of us just post the trivial details of our days and are lucky if a handful of people read them.
I think we have a responsibility as women who blog to chose our words wisely and to be kind with our comments. Instead of criticizing and finding fault, we should uplift and strengthen one another. Instead of assuming the worst, we should look for the best in each other. Because I'm certain that we are all just trying to do good things and raise good families and write interesting stuff. How much easier would that be with the support of other women who blog?
There are so many amazing, wonderful, inspiring women in the world who I would never have crossed paths with had they not started a blog. I love reading about their families, their house ideas, their recipes, their challenges, their parenting tips, and their beliefs. They say nice things when they comment on my blog and they make me feel like this blogging thing is worthwhile. So I keep doing it. We are not all the same, but we have a lot of similarities. I'm so grateful for this miraculous internet that has the ability to connect a vast, diverse world. And I hope to always use it for good things.