OK, a friend of mine once jokingly (at least I think it was jokingly) said that blogs were a "narcissistic waste of time". You may have your own opinion on this. Every one blogs for different reasons. I am not quite sure why I do. But to indulge my friend and prove her right, I am going to wade through a little narcissism tonight.
A few weeks ago I talked to a very nice woman, Jan Hoffman, who was writing a piece for the New York Times on educational programs like Parent Connect or EdLine. I was happy to share my opinion-- no body really listens to me half the time, and this woman was getting paid to do so. It was a great experience, because as most people know, I tend to have opinions. We talked about helicopter parenting, micro-managing, increasing tension in a potentially already tense parent/teen relationship and all the negative things that can come from such programs. We talked about the positive things, like reminders for "forgetful" kids, communications for divorced parents and the ease of e-mail communications with teachers. All in all, she wrote a very balanced piece and to be truthful I am proud to be included in it. Wanna read it?? Being the attention seeking chick that I am, I mentioned it to a few friends. They did nothing but tease me. Thinking I was just being narcissistic, I stopped mentioning it and left it alone.
Then today I get an e-mail from Jan asking how things were. Apparently this has become a hot issue. A girl I know and fellow football mom, Nikki, was also in the article. She and I are on different ends of the Parent Connect train. Well, Nikki has had a whirlwind weekend, check this out... Good Morning America, Time Warner, The London Daily Telegraph... All scrambling for a comment from "the mom".
At first, I was a little jealous. I am the cool one, the NON-HELICOPTER one (no offense Nikki) I did some googling of my own, and found one or two critical comments directed at me, which at first hurt. But then I realized that I had said all those things. I had awakened my daughter with "what have you failed?". Then I had to explain that no, she hadn't failed, she may have been ill or excused for TAG. I was that parent. But what the "moral of the story" is is that after 4 years, I am no longer that person. OK I am still neurotic, and it takes every fiber of my being not to jump in and try and fix things for the rest of them (by this point Claire is done). But you know what? I will always be neurotic. Things like PC will always be there to tempt me to control too much but it will also be there to help me "remind" those who need reminding (and I am speaking of people under 18!)
But, back to my story, I realized my opinion, for those who got that far, doesn't make good t.v. And, that is fine with me.
There are several reasons. The most important one--Nikki had a 20 min warning that GMA was coming with a film crew, and they were there for FOUR hours. Let me tell you, there is not enough closet space in Roswell in which to shove shit to get this place ready for national t.v. in 20 minutes. So, I'm fine with anonymity and clutter piles. Second, my opinion may not be news worthy, but let me tell you, it was Facebook worthy! With a simple status that says, "I made the New York Times-- Read it", I'd like to think that Claire and her "leave me alone" has made Facebook history and encouraged more teens to read the New York Times than ever in history (there's that narcissism peeking out again...) Sean was extremely happy to be only referred to as my "freshman son" (thanks Jan). Finally and most importantly, I get to see how many literate friends I have. Yea, it's easy to look at a picture, read a caption and get the idea of a story. If you want the real scoop, the real meaning of the story YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO TURN THE PAGE. So when those few people come up to me and say they read the article and really liked my quote about a perfect world, I know they are "my kinda people" -- you know, those page turners.