So, the parent-blogging world is a-twitter with an article released by Time last week that basically suggests a rather negative impression of "parents today", particularly of the Doc Martin-wearing, alternative music-listening (when "alternative music" was a phrase that actually meant something), blogging type. Many of my counterparts in the parent-blogging world have weighed in a response...Do I dare miss my chance to be counted?
While my blog may have taken a detour into medical drama, my initial intention was simply to have a place to share my experience as a parent, and perhaps dialogue with others entering into the foray of momma and dadda-hood. My current circumstance has added another layer to the purpose of my words here...But it has never had anything to do with stroking my ego or keeping me at the "cool table" (truth be told, I've never sat there -- are the seats heated?).
Yet, James Poniewozik writes in the article:
This is not to say the hipster writers are bad parents--or writers; their work can be wise and moving. But the generation that as children was told by TV that "the most important person in the whole wide world is you" is finding it hard to pass that torch.
All parents face the moment where their life to a point takes a back seat to the child in front of you -- and the reality is, the parents I've connected with through blogging have happily embraced that developmental milestone -- even those who can successfully lip-sync a Cocteau Twins song (an that takes work).
Maybe we should all apologize. I guess I didn't realize that parenting was about secrecy - that it as wrong to openly discuss my experience becoming a parent (and a pretty good one at that). In an age when most people don't even know their neighbor, I had the audacity to enter into a community of people who are in the midst of new parenting and talk openly about it. I guess I figured I'd learn something, or at least think I'm not alone when my little one does something strange (like eat Cheddar Bunnies dipped in sour cream). I guess I was wrong -- after all, secrecy has done wonders for families (see: divorce, abuse, neglect). My god, it's a wonder any of us talk about our families at all.
And forgive me if I take pleasure in watching Vampboy dance around the house to Eurtyhmics. I believe that good parenting includes allowing your child to get to know you -- what makes you who you are, what you're likes and interests are. How on earth are they expected to rebel as teens if they don't know that stuff? And my attempts to connect my son with who I am has nothing to do with trying to "remain hip". It's about who I am, which last time I checked I can't really change unless placed in a witness protection program.
Am I a hipster parent? Well, the survey I took tells me that I'm a little bit hipster -- if I lived in Park Slope, I'd apparently be a more so. But to me, being a good parent, who treats their kids like gold and shares their experiences with the world is hip. So you won't hear any apologies from me.
Of course, this James fellow only needs to read a few entries on my blog to see that there are parents out there who give up parts of themselves no parent should have to in order to do what's right for their kid, and being a "hipster" has nothing to do with it.
Blog on, fellow parents. I'm off to help Vampboy load up his ipod for the next chemo round, and get him fitted for his own steel-toed boots and leather jacket. For the non-bloggers reading this, I encourage you to continue to check out the other blog sites I have linked on the right of my page. These are good people (and parents) who have something to say.