Sunday, April 19, 2015
Thanks for being patient with me lately, and for saying such kind, supportive things in your comments to my posts. We're doing okay. We decided to change the LB's specialist care to a new set of doctors, who are far more proactive than the previous ones, which is fantastic, but that means lots of new tests and appointments while they figure out the best course of treatment. So we're back and forth a lot, in and out of the hospital and doctors' offices. None of it is new, we've done it all before. But the level of interest and concern is a little overwhelming right now.
All of this to say that I feel a little wiped out lately. We're all used to the tests and medicines and so forth, but it doesn't usually feel so stressful. Meeting new doctors always feels like an interview, or even a date. It's all about balance - you want to seem informed and with-it, but not alarmist or needy. You have to advocate for your child without sounding like a know-it-all. You can read every book and website article, but you are not a doctor.
Raising a child with chronic illness has always been a part of our parenting experience. My health was very poor after the LB was born and we had a baby with problems on top of that. One of the hardest parts was the way that people reneged on their offers of help during the pregnancy. The pitying comments were hard too. Far be it from me to advise on this subject; our difficulties pale in comparison to those faced by other people, and I know it's difficult to know what to say. My only advice: don't tell people how relieved you are not to have their problems. Don't say things like "God only gives us what we can handle." Mostly, be nice; everyone has their cross to bear.
I haven't been blogging as often lately, but I've been thinking about it. I still love it, and have lots of ideas for future posts. But I've been wondering lately if my attitude toward it is changing. I worry sometimes that blogging can easily veer off into Facebook-like territory, where we're reading too many blogs and not giving them enough thought. I've even read comments where people say they wish they could just hit a "like" button on each post. I find this heartbreaking. I don't want a quick, casual relationship with blogging. I want a more meaningful one.
I also worry that blogging can easily devolve into competition. Who has more followers, who has more pageviews, who is coming up with the best weekly play-along posts. That isn't the kind of relationship I want to have with blogging, either. It never was. I would rather have ten regular readers who really want to connect with me than I would hundreds of readers who don't. I can't speak for other bloggers, but I'm not counting coup here. Comment if you feel moved to do so, read along silently if you prefer to do that. It's all good and I appreciate you.
I've been encouraged by your response to our podcast. We've only just started but we're enjoying ourselves. I fully recognize that it may not be for everybody, and that's fine. You're under no obligation to listen. Mostly, we're entertaining ourselves. We love to talk, especially to each other, and we think some of what we have to say could be interesting to other people too. It's just the way we are; literally from the hour we met, we've been blathering uncontrollably. I've never known a person I can talk to the way I do with him. He's the most interesting person I've ever met - and I'm not just saying that because I love him romantically and had his babies and all that. Our relationship began in a relatively inauspicious way, with him needing to move to another state precisely one week to the day after we met. Our relationship mostly grew over the phone and via email, and was not necessarily romantic to begin with. It became that way over time and I'm ever so glad. The talking hasn't shown any signs of slowing yet and I'm glad about that too.
As for the podcasts themselves, I'd like to point out that this is not a sponsored endeavor or anything like that. We own all of the recording equipment (microphones, filters, editing software, etc.) and the music we're using is a snippet from a free-to-use composition found online. We record our podcasts in the evening when the children have been put to bed and the house is quiet; we write a little script beforehand and follow it loosely as we chat. He does the editing and uploads it to his own website. My little button on my sidebar links to the page where we'll be hosting them for the time being. You can listen in-browser if you'd rather not download them. We have more coming soon; we're trying to spread them out so people don't get bored. I'll let you know when there's a new one.
I loved your comments about our voices. Mine is pretty high and girlish, and I tend to giggle a lot. I loved that some people commented about how "American" I sound. I grew up mostly in New York but have generally lost my accent at this point. He's from Colorado and I always think he has that perfect "middle American" accent like a newscaster. But one weird thing is that he says "beggle" instead of bagel. As a former New Yorker, I notice these things.
I was straightening up my little corner in our office this week and stopped to look at my bulletin board on the wall over my desk. I've been hanging special things up there for a few years now and some of them come from blogging friends. Some of you might even recognize things you've sent to me (other special things from blogging friends are in my bedroom, the kitchen and the family room). My board is perfectly eclectic, I think.
Did you ever play the game MASH when you were a kid? It was meant to predict your future. We played it in middle school. It was complicated, involving making categories pertaining to the future (marriage, kids, etc.) beneath the title, MASH, which represented the kind of dwelling you'd live in someday (mansion, apartment, shack or house). There was a step that involved drawing a swirly shape until the other player told you to stop, then a line would be drawn and measured through the swirl and this would be translated into crossing off categories you'd written down earlier. I'm pretty foggy on the exact rules of the game, but I remember this for sure: one time, while playing MASH in study hall, someone said I should put down "Salvation Army store" for my S category, instead of shack. I remember being a little insulted ("that place is filled with junk!"), but now I totally get it.