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.