Friday, November 14, 2008

The Joys of Blogging

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.

Please give more attention to these writers!

I write this with heartfelt, happy tears in my eyes, as I take a bow. Well, not really, but c’mon, I can imagine my own Sally-Field-1985-Oscar speech, can’t I? (Sheesh, gotta remember to stop dating myself…) But I am very grateful to those of you that read my blog and offer advice and support to me and to others who read. Jay at The Hill Family of Northwest Arkansas gave me this lovely award last week, and I love the idea of paying it forward (now how many times has that phrase been used for blog recognition awards?!) and, in turn, recognizing other blogs that inspire me. Thank you, Jay!

When I started writing this, about a year and a half ago, I originally meant it to be an online diary of sorts. A place I could pretty much write whatever I wanted. I quickly realized that you never know who is reading, and I learned to self-censor. There are two definitely taboo subjects: work and family. Ha! As much as I would have liked to complain about a particular person at work or as much as I would have liked to really have a discussion about an interesting or quirky personality at work or a family issue, I knew that I could be Googled as easily as the next person and could seriously rock some boats. Heck, I’ve never even mentioned the names of my workplaces, to play it safe. A friend of mine who used to blog all the time and recently began to post less and less frequently made me really think about it—she said that she doesn’t post much anymore because the biggest part of her life right now involves an issue with a family member who reads her blog.

Another reason I started my blog was that I was also sick and tired of filling up my e-mail storage space to the limit with multi-megabyte photos I’d sent to family members so they could see Samantha’s growth and progress. I joined Flickr at about the same time as a complement. I realized that this blog could be bigger and more interesting (sometimes, I hope!) than a pretty basic photo-repository with some “here’s what we did today” commentary (although that’s still important to do!), and found that soliciting advice and sharing ideas was so much more beneficial to me and made for better reading. I know there’s so much to learn, but I hope to continue to progress and develop something that others can enjoy and learn from, too. With that, I can only ask for honest feedback. I’d like to continue to grow my readership; it’s kind of like a message in a bottle that could wash up anywhere—I love to see how far away readers visit from, and how they got here. I get my fair share of people who found me by Googling “Bates Motel,” but more and more there are deliberate readers, which makes me happy. The Down syndrome community is HUGE and I’m so grateful for all the other bloggers (ugh, why is my spellcheck stopping me every time I type in the word “blog?” You’d think it was a normal part of the English language by now!) out there who have provided inspiration and entertainment, information and a bit of voyeurism into their lives.

The first person I'd like to pass this award on to is Carol, at Cookie's Daughter. Carol, I hope you don't mind me tagging you here (let me know if you do, and I'll edit!). Carol is the mother of three boys, one of whom, adorable little Aidan, has Down syndrome. Carol's writing is thoughtful and expressive, and she's not afraid to write exactly how she feels. She's also been a driving force in a few of Flickr's forums, uniting people by coming up with thought-provoking topics for discussion. Although her postings are few and far between, I hope this might spark a flurry of new posts...???

The second person I'd like to pass this along to is Amber, at What's New With The Baker Family. Amber's a mom with a HUGE heart. In addition to her natural children, she is a devoted foster mother to many and adoptive mother to little Gracie. Gracie was born with several complex medical issues, including a heart defect. Amber's writing is incredibly inspirational, and she sets the example of what truly selfless mothering is.

Thank you to everyone whose blogs I read regularly (there are sooooo many!), and thank you for introducing me to so many more! I'm proud to count many of you as friends.


Carol N. said...

Wow, thanks very much, Becca! I'm really touched.

Oh, and now I will forever think of you in connection with Sally Fields

Amber said...

If Carol does mind...too late, I've saved the link and I'm running over there! :0)

Becca...thank you! You are too sweet...I got a little lump in my throat. I read it twice just to make sure that was my family... :0)

Then, I come to write my thank you and I see your sweet girls face and I just want to squish the best of ways! Yum-yum, squeeze her for me. :0)

Carol N. said...

Okay, now I'm super humbled. I just looked at Amber's blog and am amazed that it is bursting to its virtual seams with love and hope and faith. That is the life I admire.