Taking Action (The Posterior View)
I don't know how to write this post without sounding like a total cheesemeister, but I'm going to make my best effort. Feel free to gag a little bit if I get too sappy. But don't stop reading...
I spend lot of time just sitting around on my ass.
Sure, there's a lot (a LOT) of time spent running around after WonderBaby. There's also a fair amount of time spent pushing her around in a stroller or carting her about in a carrier or - more frequently, now - hovering a step or two behind her in the park while she toddles toward the slide that has the bad manners to beg that she climb it. And then, too, there's the couple of hours each week that I spend standing behind a lectern or pacing back and forth in front of that lectern, and the time spent walking to and from the subway to get to that lectern. And the time spend going up and down the stairs in my house with a baby or basket of laundry in my arms.
So, okay, maybe I don't actually spend all that much time on my ass. But I'd like to.
If I could have my way, I'd spend a lot more time on my ass. A lot more time with books and paper and pens and my laptop, of course. (Ideally, that time would come from the alleviation of laundry duty, and the addition of eight hours to the twenty-four clock.)
Reading and writing and reflecting. I could devote infinite amounts of time to it, and I would love every minute of that time. On my ass.
When you love anything that much, you worry that you might get lost in it. I love WonderBaby that much. I love my husband that much. I love these so much that sometimes the desire to just totally retreat, escape, into these things is visceral. I can feel that desire squeezing my heart, I can taste its sweet tang in my mouth.
(A cabin! The woods! Long days and nights curled up with Husband and baby and books and laptop!)
(In this dream, wireless access is everywhere!)
Escape, away from the real world of real activity. Away from mess and pain and politics and noise and stress and Bad Things.
But I can't do that. We can't do that. In part, because it is simply impossible: life follows you wherever you go. You can't escape mess and stress and politics and pain simply by turning your back on them. You can't escape them, period.
And, we can't escape them because in escaping them we would lose our humanity. The challenges of life shape us, obviously. Any Hallmark Card or Learning-Annex-Deepak-Chopra-wannabe will tell you that. But what makes us really human is facing challenges together, and taking on challenges for each other. What really makes us human is acting as members of a community. Building community. Protecting community. Taking responsibility for community.
These past two weeks, as the 'Call to Action' posts have rolled in, I've seen so much humanity. I see it all the time, of course, out here in our corner of the blogosphere, where we write again and again and again our love for our families. But these posts, they showed me so much more. You're all so much more than mothers, fathers, parents, friends. You are all so human, in the best possible sense.
(I know, I know... getting SAPPIER.)
(Did I mention my ass, and how I sit on it, yet?)
Here's what we do, what we can do, how we can and do exercise our humanity, even from the comfort of the perch of our butts...
Changing the World, One Blog at a Time
(Please. Do go visit these. I tried to organize them all by issue, but it was just too difficult and this post just never would have gone up if I'd kept at it. So you need to wade through the list, but please take a stab at it. Every single one of these posts is an inspiration.)
(Yes. You MUST KEEP READING. To the very bottom of this post, and then back up through the links. Yes, it will make you dizzy. But you will be a better person for it.)
Her Bad Mother - A Place Called Hell
Her Bad Mother - Things You Can't Tell Just By Looking At Her
Making Other Plans (Just Another Tool of the Patriarchy) - Action!
The Silent 'I' - A Great Man's Passing
The Silent 'I' - Community Love
Izzy - Just What Your First-Grader Needs
CrazyMumma - Live Life Love
Momish - 'Cause I Care
Lala -Livin' Large in the First World
Jozet - Lactivists Anonymous
Breadcrumbs in the Butter - Passion
SlackerMommy - Friends of Kids With Cancer
Radioactive Girl - Forever and Always... and Even Some More
Radioactive Girl - Lonely No More: Forever and Always, con't
My Silly Sausage - Getting Active
Sunshine Scribe - Breaking the Silence
Blog Antagonist - Mission Bad Mother
Metro Mama - Sleeping Children
Ruth Dynamite - Feminism: The Dynamite Perspective
Mama Tulip - 'Cause Happy Babies Mean Happy Mommies
Something Blue - Utopia
24/7 - Just Say It
Troll Baby - The Motherless (new blog)
Troll Baby - Left With a Legacy
Chicken and Cheese - Save a Life
Petra's Shadow - My Cause, My Life
The Mouse's Nest - Protecting My Family
The Ravin' Picture Maven - Passive Activists Rock!
Snickerdoodles - Baylie Belewe
Mommy Off The Record - Food For Thought
Mamalooper - Social Activism, or What Gets Me Up in the Morning
Baby in the Cty - Quiet Revolution
Mama Drama - A Can of Chicken Soup
Kittenpie - Little Causes
Dirty Laundry - Call to Action
Rose DesRochers - Giving Sick Kids a Reason to Smile
Mad Hatter Mommy - It Is What It Is
Toyfoto - Look Both Ways But Cross the Street
Non-Linear Girl - For My Grandmother
One Plus Two - Not So Very Ordinary
MotherBumper - Dooooo it... come on now
Life, The Universe and Everything - Warning: Social Justice Post Follows
Homesick Home - How I Give All My Google Ad Revenue to My Grandmother
Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual - Sometimes You Need a Kick in the Ass
The Lovely Mrs. Davis - Whoever tells the story defines the culture
nomotherearth - The Play's the Thing
Writing in the Mountains - Don't be Such a Brat
What Was I Thinking - Helping Unusual Children with Schooling
Frankly Pregnant - Lucia's Angels
My Own Circle of Confusion - Banned Book Week
Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown - Do A Body Good
If It Wasn't This It Would be Something Else - Call to Action
The Ravin' Picture Maven - Meet My Brother
Rose DesRochers - Safer Internet Day
RocRebelGranny - St. Judes
Write About Here - Lawn Bowling and Native Plants
Parenthacks - Spread the Word (Toys to Iraq)
The Mad Momma - The Gift of Life
Mother-Woman - Raise a Reader OR Not
Mamaritaville - Helping Others
Stupid Grin - Too Many Happy Meal Pets Laying Around? (Toys to Iraq)
MadHatterMommy - It's a Matter of Choice, No?
Team Mimi - Run For It
If I've missed anyone, please let me know, and accept my apologies. And, if you're late to the party and inspired to write a post of your own, don't hesitate to send in a link - I'll keep adding links in as I receive them.
Another issue that we should all get behind: it seems that in some of the United States (some 28 of them), it is perfectly legal to question potential employees about their family status (married? with children?) This practice facilitates discrimination against against mothers and, especially, single mothers and sets us back, like, centuries. You may have read about it over at Amalah's Daily Dose yesterday; you can read more about it HERE. MomsRising is currently organizing a petition to promote the passage of legislation that would make this illegal. Please, go sign this petition.
Phew. Tired now. Am done doing my part to make the world a better place today. Off to bed...
... or not. A Bad Mother's work is never done. Keep checking the links above, as broken links have been fixed and many new links have been added and are still being added. Keep sending, and I'll keep adding the links, and eventually the list will end up on my sidebar.
And while you're thinking about all these posts and how should you maybe write one, too, or write another one, check out my profile of another action post over at UrbanMommy.
Okay. NOW will go celebrate anniversary...