I'm so sorry for the last few weeks of hiatus. I've been ill, and I know that's no excuse. So I'll make it up to you with one of the most epic Blogarounds ever.
Seriously- this week was amazing. I don't mean for me personally, I mean in terms of exceptional writing around the blogosphere. I hope you've got a free hour or two and a box of kleenex handy.
"Doing Grief" - The Spin Cycle
The Spin Cyclist, aka the Desperate Housemommy, aka Sue, is an amazing writer. I've been a huge fan for a long time, since before her last blogging break. And I completely understand her need to take a break now. Please read this piece about grief, and survival, and compassion, and take a moment to remember the joy of having the people you love in your life.
"The Day I Hit Publish" - The Caffeinated Chronicles of a Supermom
I include this post especially because this week was Global Suicide Prevention Week. I think it's desperately important for those who suffer from depression, even occasionally, to know it's okay to ask for help. To know there are people out there who care, and to know that there is always another way to live.
"Monsoon Season" - Three By Thirty
What starts as an apology for a blogging absence grows into something much more profound- a confession about depression. It can be so difficult as a mom to acknowledge depression. You're supposed to be happy with all your life choices, all your children, your husband, your role either at home or at work. If you suffer from mental illness, suddenly it's "your fault," as though you have any sort of control over your brain's chemical structures. This is not just an insight into depression. Read it carefully, it's an insight into an unwarranted shame shared by everyone who has ever suffered through it.
I've been reading Joella's blog for a long time as well. She's always honest, and I love that about her. She writes about a kind of lifestyle I understand, I totally get her priorities and passions. She's great. And this post knocks it out of the park. Screw judgement. Take a strong dose of Joella's snark and check your judgmental baggage at the door. Bravo.
"Untitled" - Urban Moo Cow
Another blogger I simply adore. Urban Moo Cow's recollections of September 11th, 2001, paralleled with her experience today- still a New Yorker, with a son too young to understand, with no comprehension of the day that permanently changed not only the skyline but something profound about the nature of New York City and New Yorkers. A wonderful piece.
"Moms shouldn't let other Moms Slut-Shame" - Agony of the Untold Story
A couple weeks ago a letter made its rounds online. From the mom of a bunch of boys to anonymous teenage girls, telling them they were banned from interacting with her sons online unless they stopped dressing in such a way as to distract her sons from their purity. (I'm sorry, just writing that had me rolling my eyes and gritting my teeth.) There have been lots of great responses. This is a fairly comprehensive one. Let's abandon the slut double standard.
"I Don't Know Who I'm Crying For" - Finding Ninee
This week, Kelli Stapleton, a Michigan mom blogger and autism mom blogger, attempted to kill herself and her fourteen year old autistic daughter. Kelli survived and is being held in jail, but her daughter is still in the hospital, and will likely suffer permanent brain damage. Kristi writes here about her haze of conflicting emotions in the wake of this tragedy, as a mom, as someone who sort of knew Kelli, and as the mother of a child with autism.
"Father/Daughter 1994" - Julie's Odyssey
During Suicide Prevention Week, Julie Farley writes about her father's battle with suicidal depression. This brief post packs an enormous punch. Not just in the brief, haunting entries from her father's journal, but also with her observations about her own total lack of awareness of his condition. It's so true that often the people closest to a victim of depression are completely unaware. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time.
"The Ebb and Flow of Friendship" - Eubanks Eutopia
Jeanine's neighbors are moving away. I love this piece about it, about the nature of friendship and the importance of embracing it. My best friends have nearly always lived far away, I was a letter writer. I still have stacks and stacks of letters from my best friends, and now a facebook newsfeed full of people who I both love and never, ever see. And these are difficult lessons for children, who so often cannot comprehend the importance of the unseen. Beautifully put.
"Lost Inside A Paper Bag" - Pen Paper Pad
A poem about alcoholism and addiction, and dreams. Addiction and recovery seemed to be a bit of a theme this week around the blogosphere, and that it coincides with Suicide Prevention Week speaks volumes of the connection between the self destructive urges of addiction and those of suicidal depression.
"I Could Tell You My Story" - Renegade Mothering
Jannelle is an alcoholic. I've seen her read her work live, and it's incredible, so I feel sorry that I had to miss her reading it live for the Listen To Your Mother addiction event. But this story is worth reading. It's moving and tragic and so real. I've never struggled with addiction, but I've watched those I love share a story that could almost be this story. Almost, but not quite.
"A New Year & I'm Already Screwing Up" - Kveller
I didn't have the best Yom Kippur. I didn't dip a single apple in honey. I didn't hear the shofar. Actually, typing that out made me tear up. Instead, I lay in bed, went back and forth from my house to the hospital, and my Lutheran mother-in-law drove to town to take care of my family. I am also already screwing up 5774. And I also want to do better.
"Magic" - Scary Mommy
Yes, I wrote this piece. And yes, it originally appeared in this very blog. But you should still go and read it and enjoy it. Because it's the sort of thing that you might need after reading a lot of heaviness. I'm pretty sure that's whey the Scary Mommy wanted to post it on 9/11.
"Captain America in a Turban" - Salon.com
On September eleventh, every year, Americans both lower their flags to half mast and wave them around. We take pride in our American-ness, and somberly reflect on our human vulnerability. And invariably, the image of an iconic "American Patriot" pops up over and over again. White. Christian. Usually rural. This American patriot moved me more than I can say. America is the land of the melting pot, but more. It's the land of Stone Soup, where the whole is made through the contributions of the many, whoever they are and whatever their backgrounds.
"Aspiring Voices: Lea Grover" - Iron Soap
I know, it's me again. But I LOVED doing this interview. It's not about my children (although yes, they're in there). It's about writing, and how I write, and why I write. So if you have any interest in that, please do stop over and check it out.
Blogger Idol Facebook Page and let them know you want me to be in this year's top twelve! Tweet them that you love me and want me to knock their socks off! Basically, harass them until the judges all throw their hands in the air and surrender to pure Becoming SuperMommy awesomeness. I believe in you- now all you have to do is believe in me! It's like we're all fairies! Thank you so much.