(Hence very colourful badge on sidebar).
I am flattered and flustered to the point of giggling fuchsia. And very, very grateful.
I did spend quite a while this morning wondering why whoever nominated me did nominate me for a MUM AND DAD BLOG award. No one who reads this blog can have failed to notice the extreme and looming complete and utter lack of Mum and/or Dad status therein. H and I are cute as buttons, I agree, but we’re not parents. Not for want of trying, but, totally, not parents. We don’t even have a cat. Hell, we barely have half-a-dozen house-plants.
I can see people clicking over from the MAD Awards site, glancing through this lot, and thinking ‘WTF?’. Or, as parents are well-known to be proper, decorous grown-ups, not ‘WTF?’ at all. More ‘oh deary me, this is all very odd and sad and weird and distressing and not about parenting and if I don’t get my daily fix of lisping toddler antics I start to remember how much I used to like going to Alice Cooper concerts and that will not do.’
Not that I know a single parent who is really like that. I don’t read a single parenting blog that is like that either. I am vapouring.
However, I have read a great many ‘normal parenting’ blogs (none of which I consider to be by my own special Gentle Readers, by the way) (also, why in hell do I read ‘ordinary’ parenting blogs? Yes, there are many funny, interesting and thoughtful ones well worth reading, but why sandpaper my soul like that? What am I, masochistic?) where, in between the snot and the cuteness and the nappies and the recipes and the ‘why is my child doing that, why?’, I have not seen even a glimpse of the notion that parenting is anything other than The Norm.
You know. Mummy and Daddy love each other very much, and have a Special Cuddle, and nine months later, lo! Junior is born! And then Mummy and Daddy still love each other very much and when Junior is about 18 months old they stop bickering about the ironing long enough to get drunk and lo! Nine months later Juniorette is born! And so on. Blog after blog where the writer’s, bless her (usually her. Bless the hims as well, obviously) fertility worries are all about ‘oops, didn’t mean to have a second/third just yet’. And yes, I can see, and do know (coming from a fucking enormous family myself) that messing up the child-spacing can be a big ole disaster. And dealing with toddlers while pregnant is hard. And dealing with teenagers while pregnant (either you or the teenager. Or both) is hard. And dealing with numb-nut partners who just don’t get it is just unGodly hard. And it all makes for excellent, interesting, supportive and very useful blogging. I approve of it all thoroughly, even though I am a sort of burnt-out lifeless satellite of the parenting world. I bask in the reflected glory. (Honesty compels me to add, I am occasionally scorched by the reflected glory).
I just think that when the organizers of the MAD Awards actually take a moment to flick through Nuts in May, they will delete me from the lists. It’s a parenting blog award. I am not a parent. I am half-killing myself trying to be one, but I don’t suppose that will count. It would be perfectly fair of them to remove me.
However, for as long as I do hang around on the nominees list, and believe me, I am so pleased and moved that I’m on it at all, let alone in two different places (Butlins MAD Blogger of the Year and Best MAD Blog Writer), that I actually had a little cry this morning, where was I? Oh, yes. As long as I get to remain on the list, I like to think I am advocating for my fellow infertiles. Some people will go exploring on that list. Some people will end up here. Some people will no doubt shy away in confusion. Some people will read a bit, and some will think ‘meh’.
But a few, I hope, will understand a little more about infertility and miscarriage before they wander off. That babies don’t always just ‘turn up’ as and when. That not being able to have any really, really hurts. That losing them is awful. That their friend/cousin/sister-in-law/colleague is not being just some crazy lady about this, but is struggling with constant, ongoing grief. That their own children are miracles. That their own parenting dilemmas and anxst are immense (difficult, painful, yes, but immense) privileges. I’m sure most parents know very well that their children are the gift beyond all gifts, the honour and reward above all others, the luck, the hope, the future and the precious glory of the world. I can only hope that they’ll keep a tiny corner of their already big and generous hearts for those of us who are, really (beautiful and meaningful as a moon can be), still only burnt-out satellites of the parenting cosmos.