Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

All those words

Today, in fact this very post, marks my 1667th post on this blog. To me that seems like a whole lot of words. Looking back at my archives, I see that there are some diatribes, some love letters, some really funny posts, and some political analysis of both local and national politics. There are recipes and helpful hints, plenty of photographs, and a lot of personal information. The blog has become a compendium of our lives since 2003, when I first started posting here.

Before the blog, there were a couple of private list-servs that went for quite a few years, all of which have been backed up. And even before the list-servs there was Usenet. All those posts still exist floating around the internet, and many of them I've also backed up on a very old account I had when I was working.

All in all, thousands upon thousands of posts. From before my kids were born, the pregnant mom of twins posts sounding confident and scared at the same time. Oh, I had a birth plan that went straight to hell the second I ended up in the labor and delivery dept of the hospital. I had all those ideas of how I was going to deal with breastfeeding before the babies arrived and the Girl turned out to be the princess who did not eat..anything. I knew what kind of childcare I wanted, and yet that turned out to be somewhat of a disaster. Like all pregnant moms, and brand new moms, I watched as each plan went up in smoke and I learned the less that all mom's know: you do what your kid wants and needs and not what you idealized.

When my kids were in the two-three toddler age group, I put them into a daycare center for the first time. I had big plans as to what kind of day care I wanted, but after visiting every freaking daycare in the Belmont/Arlington/Cambridge area and hating them all, I ended up putting them in daycare here in our city, which is how we ended up living here. Yes, I moved for the day care. Shows you just how insane I can be as a mom.

Moving here was strange. It's very different than the area I had lived in for many years before kids. Although they are almost neighboring towns, and have a very similar socioeconomic population, this city is extremely diverse while the other town, not so much. All of this I posted online, discussing the pros and cons of moving two-year old toddler twins all by myself, and was a daycare worth that much effort?

Mostly the daycare was worth the effort. My kids loved it and made very good and lasting friends, kids they are still friendly with to this day. They learned a lot, they grew a lot, and all in all it was a good association with some deep issues that we'll not discuss.

After daycare we moved to California, where I kind of left Usenet behind and lived my online life on a couple of listservs, the best of which was the Spirited Kids list, where all the moms were parenting oh, say... quirky kids. Funny that almost every kid on that list ended up either very gifted, gifted with LDs, or ADHD. But when they were little, that list kept me sane. I would log in and read how all the other kids had done this and that insane action and I would laugh my ass off. It was honestly the funniest group of moms ever, and some of them remain dear in my heart to this day.

When the web appeared on the scene, listservs kinda died off, and for a couple of years there wasn't really a great space to chat about the kids. I tried the gifted listservs, but OMG, talk about some very scary parents. Some of them were just so bizarre that I literally worried for their kids lives. As a parent of a profoundly gifted kid I should have fit in there, but nope... I was a total outsider because I was of the belief that kids (now this is a scary concept) should be kids! I know! In other words, I didn't feel that my children needed gifted camp on top of special gifted schools and gifted enrichment. I thought that encouraging my kids to get along with all kinds of kids, and not just the gifted, would be a GOOD thing. Yeah, I was almost crucified for that idea.

Then blogging happened, and once again I found my niche. I'm not typical of the other parents that blog. I'm old enough to be many bloggers mother, I have a much deeper well of experience seeing that I am so much older, and I really don't do well with the sycophants. I'm so not a "you go girl" kinda person. I like debate. I like ranting. I like reading rants. I live for disagreement. But blogging suited me in a lot of ways. I could talk about my kids and our lives, and I could just tell people what's on my mind at any given time. It is a perfect outlet for me.

The point being that my children have been discussed on the internet since before they were born. More than 16 years now. I know people are gasping because there is some belief that after a certain age, you're not respecting their privacy. Well.... I'm happy to disagree. You CAN post about your kids as they get older. You just have to be a bit more judicious. Now, I post the ugly as well as the sweet. I post about sad and upsetting stuff my kids get into, right alongside the funny and weird. I've always tried to present a well-rounded picture of my kids and I think that I've succeeded. People that have met them in real life are seldom surprised by who and what they are.

When something comes up in our family that isn't postworthy, and I'm asked not to post it, I don't. Likewise, when something comes up that tickles us in some way, one of the kids will say "you're gonna blog this aren't you?" Like the second I saw that stupid fence in front of the high school the Girl knew that was going up on the blog.

A couple of people have said some really nasty things to me about posting stories from the twins file. I've gotten the "I can't believe you said that about your son/daughter" emails. You know what? I'm not Ms Merry Sunshine and neither are my kids. We all do bad things. We all make crappy choices. Only presenting the good side of raising teenagers would be an out and out lie. There are rarely good sides to raising teens. And when there are, I post those with so much pride and joy. However, the dark side is just as honest and just as real. Pretending it isn't, at least to me, is just plain stupid.

I don't know when I'll finally stop blogging about the kids. Probably once they leave (sob) and don't give me enough blog fodder to make it worth my while. But until that happens, I'm going to keep telling you all about the ups and downs of our lives. I'm always going to be honest with you, because that's what I want my kids to experience.

And yes, they read my blog!

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Blogger Sam said...

How many!?!? Good Grief!! I have a loooong way to go as I only broke 200 a few weeks ago!!

The way I see it is that you will have a far greater written family history to refer back on than many people will and that's definitely a good thing in my book!

3/7/08 9:15 AM  
OpenID cahwyguy said...

Well, I was there with you in Usenet days, posting to misc.kids with you, and working with you to create soc.culture.jewish.parenting... which still exists, but we haven't had a non-Spam submission in years.

I agree with your observations on listservs: mail.liberal-judaism is dying, with perhaps 10 issues this year.

I, too, have been taken up with blogging, albeit over at Livejournal where I have more control over the friendslist. I now write something daily, be it theatre news, family news (usually friends-only), observations on the news, security commentaries, and almost anything that strikes me of interest.

Right now, according to LJ, since 2004:

Journal entries: 2,880
Posted: 10,695
Received: 10,134

3/7/08 9:57 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

I remember you from way back in the misc.kids days (I was reading even before I had kids and I think I never posted, just lurked). Sometimes I really miss Usenet and wonder what happened to everyone. But then I remember the SPAM.

3/7/08 10:04 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

Let's see. Future? You'll blog (or post in the medium du jour) about your kids' higher education, their jobs, their weddings, their kids - your grandkids! Holy Smokes, what a concept!

3/7/08 11:24 AM  
Blogger Dave2 said...

And I still remember fondly the days of 300 baud modems and Bulletin Boards!

Oddly enough, you'll always be Ms Merry Sunshine to me!

3/7/08 11:48 AM  
Blogger Fox In Detox said...

Wow...you are truly an inspiration. I love visiting your blog. I hope you post thousands and thousands more. Looking forward to the grand kid posts!

3/7/08 12:27 PM  
Blogger kristi said...

There is nothing wrong with being honest. I love my husband but he drives me insane, so I blog about it.

And my kids...the same thing sometimes.

3/7/08 1:43 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Daniel, I have known you for so long now it seems like you've been in my life forever. In a good way! You have always been a prolific writer so I'm not shocked at the amount of posts you have on your LJ blog.

Dave, I will always be Ms Merry Sunshine. Now STFU and send me my freaking t-shirts already. :-)

Janet, I wish I knew who you were. Did you always lurk on m.k? Man, there are days I so miss that newsgroup. Just thinking back to some of the funniest flame wars ever. I've long since lost my yearbooks (I had all 3) but I can still remember so many of the original 'gang' and I'm still friendly IRL with many of them. Talk about community! Those were the days.

Daisy, GRANDKIDS? OMG. Do not even mention such a thing. First the Boy has to learn to brush his teeth and wash without me forcing him into the shower. Really... it's gonna be a LONG TIME before he procreates. The Girl... she better not. But she's not a fan of the rug rats. At least not now.

Fox, thanks for the lovely comments. You totally rock!

Kristi, anyone who complains about their kids is all right in my book!

3/7/08 3:01 PM  
Blogger SunSpotBaby said...

OMG - were you REALLY Ms. Merry Sunshine at one point??? What were you THINKING???? :>) (Wish I had read you then......love that I read you now!)

3/7/08 3:48 PM  

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