Kristin Darguzas,

lead blogger of ParentDish, wrote a post about Road Map to HollandHers is another one of the opinions that matters most to me, because she’s had a tremendous impact on my life as a blogger.

This was about a year and a half ago:  I’d been trying, very unsuccessfully, to find places that were interested in my writing about Avery.  Learning to mother him had been one of the most transformative experiences of my life, full of shock and sadness and also wonder and kindness and surprising moments of sheer delight, and I felt like I had a lot to say. 

Well, no one else felt like I had a lot to say.  Or rather, no one was interested.  I contacted all my old employers from before I was Avery’s mom, when I had been freelancing stories about motherhood.  Everyone was happy to hear from me, but the message was clear:  No Avery stories.

Of course, being the stubborn and willful soul that I am, this pretty much ensured that all I wanted to write was Avery stories.  I kept trying, new places, always no.  Somewhere in the middle of this, I learned that people could write online diaries, called blogs, and basically self-publish all sorts of things:  photos, videos, poems, essays.  I decided to give it a try.

My first efforts were at Postcards from Holland,a group blog created by the fabulous Moreena of falling down is also a gift.  My lack of skills as a blogger was astounding; I wasn’t able to publish a post without Moreena’s help for a long time. 

And I began thinking that I was asking an awful lot of her, what with all my emails titled, “Help?”, so I took the plunge and with guidance from more bloggers (Queen Serene and Always Chaos especially) I started Pinwheels, still flailing about trying to find my way (much like a pinwheel!) but very happy to finally have a place to tell my stories.

Shortly after, I got an email in my inbox.  It was from Kristin, and she asked me if I’d like to have a phone conversation about me maybe writing for ParentDish, which was called Blogging Baby at the time, and is the number 1 parenting blog in terms of web traffic.

I can’t tell you how anxious I was about this phone conversation.  I had decided that if she wanted me to write about everything but Avery, I wouldn’t take the job.  We needed money, it was a terrific opportunity, there were all kinds of reasons to say yes, but I had this feeling that if it were another place that only wanted the traditional mommy stories, then I would pass.

I remember, a few minutes into the conversation, I asked (in a timid, mouse-like way), “You know my son Avery has Down syndrome.  I want to write about that.  Would it be okay if I wrote, for you, my Avery stories?”  I sucked in my breath and waited for her answer.

“That’s why we’re here,” she said.  “I want you to write about Avery.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.  I’ve been writing over at ParentDish for nearly a year now, and all the while it’s been about Avery.  Occasionally I’ll write about the other kids, because my life isn’t solely about disability, but mostly, my “A Little More” column is a way to share the joy and the beauty I have found in my son.

Which is a very long way of saying thank you, Kristin–then, and now.


14 thoughts on “Kristin Darguzas,

  1. jennifer
    thank you for continuing. i am on a similar path. i write about things that are hard to read and even harder to imagine.
    i applaud you and i do want to know.


  2. Moreena, the only reason I didn’t mention fierce is because I FORGOT! You are indeed fierce AND fabulous…

    And I miss Always Chaos, too. I hope, someday, the time will be right for it to return.

  3. I miss the days of that old blog. Thank you for mentioning me.

    I’m so glad you blog. My world would be so different without you my faraway friend.


  4. I don’t think I’ve ever been called “fabulous” before, and I’m pretty sure that’s only one step away from “fierce,” which means I’m practically Project Runway material, right?

    Anyway, thank you! I loved the idea of that group blog, because it was a way to dip in without having to be committed to the project, all the time. But even more I loved that I ran across so many amazing writers.

    If Postcards had anything to do with you going on to your own fabulous blog (and book!!!), then “hooray!” Successful experiment! But the truth is that you were already a wonderful writer with a lovely way of crafting a story, and it was only a happy accident that the Postcards group was there in the early months of your internet forays.

    Yours, though, is a story that reminds me of all that is right about the blogging community.

    Huge congratulations!

  5. Yes, absolutely. And it’s helped me see there is always more than one way to do, to be, to live. It’s helped me relax into the possibilites and the unknowns. It’s been wonderful.

  6. What a great story…and it adds to the overall story of your struggles and joys parenting Avery. I mean, I’m sure it was disappointing at the time and very frustrating, but looking back, didn’t the disappointment make the success all the sweeter? Just like the sorrows make the joys all the sweeter with Avery.

    I can’t wait to read the book. I am sure, given your writing talent, that it is deserving of all that is said about it.

  7. ‘I remember, a few minutes into the conversation, I asked (in a timid, mouse-like way), “You know my son Avery has Down syndrome. I want to write about that. Would it be okay if I wrote, for you, my Avery stories?” I sucked in my breath and waited for her answer.

    “That’s why we’re here,” she said. “I want you to write about Avery.”’

    Oh my, this made me cry. I can understand exactly what you’re saying. I do. I am so happy that you do write, and how you write, and what you say! Thank you!

  8. One person, yes…but as you might be guessing from my last few posts, it took much more than one person for me. It’s a bunch. A whole crew. A posse!

    And I’m just gettin’ started on the thank yous…

  9. I read her review…and even though I haven’t yet seen the book, I KNOW what she wrote is true. I can’t wait to read it! And how fortunate for BOTH of you that she stumbled upon your blog that day? All it takes is one person to believe in us enough to help push us along. xo

  10. Well, thank YOU, Jennifer. I can’t believe that those traditional media outlets weren’t interested in your Avery stories. They are some of the most unique, inspiring, beautiful stories I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.

    I’m so happy you let us scoop you up first.

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