Should I play it cool and tell you that of course I’ve been asked to take the first week in what will probably be a rotation of writers filling in for Lisa Belkin at the New York Times‘ Motherlode blog?
Should I say that after all, I do already cover parenting, culture and policy issues for Slate‘s XXFactor blogâ€”already a position to be proud of, with a rightly respected publication?
Should I tell you that the Times won’t find anyone better, and pull on my high-heeled black cowboy boots, made for demonstrating that I am taller and tougher and cooler than anyone else out there, turn on a heel, flip my hair and walk casually away? (I’m not sure how I’d do that on online. Maybe it could be done on Tumblr, but WordPress is kind of old school. You can tell, because it has all of its vowels.)
I can’t. I’m too busy giggling gleefully and jumping up and down. I get to be the first to cover the Motherlode blog, now that Lisa Belkin is off to work her magic at the Huffington Post. I get to stomp right up to my usual office (I do think I will wear my boots) and write columns–8-10 of them–that will run in the Motherlode space she’s cultivated so well. I get to try on the mantle of my favorite parenting blog–the parenting blog that isn’t just a parenting blog, the one with some of the best commenters ever, the blog that lets the parenting conversation that we’re all interested in keep a certain spark of intellect while still getting right in there with breastfeeding, circumcision, working and parenting, exhaustion, college applications, sports try-outs, open house night, and all the other so-called minutia that really surround what most of us consider in equally important (and sometimes more important) sphere of our lives.
And I’ve just read 67 comments mourning Lisa’s departure (if it weren’t for this development, I’d have made it 68â€”I love reading Lisa). It will never be the same, they declare. Our guide to the questions we hadn’t even thought to ask is gone. Reset the RSS feed, change the bookmarks–what could make Motherlode still worth reading?
Well, me. And them–if they stay. (Please stay!)
Lisa’s are big boots to fill. (Not that her feet are anything but a very ladylike size eight-and-a-half, I’m sure.) She brings smart, wry thought to topics ranging from autism to zoo therapy, and it’s thought that invites the reader to think, too. To think and respond and respond again. I think me and my black boots can do that too. I don’t have the last word on whether we, as adoptive parents, should search for our children’s birth parents before they’re old enough to search themselves, on how to improve school lunches, on what chores kids can and should do around the house or even which giant, inevitably gas-guzzling 8-passenger vehicle I should buy next to shepherd my family up our rutted dirt road (all topics I’m considering for next week, along with whatever news the week brings). I have ideas. I have doubts. I have words. I have blogging, bonding, blending and bitching, just like it says in my subhead. I hope to mix those things together into a Motherlode that’s both what it was before, and then some, next week at least. (Who are we kidding? I hope they hire me to make that potent mix for years.)
And I hope everybody I know comes with me. Because honestly, I’m nervous. Revved and nervous. If I have to face all those people who just want Lisa back all by myself, I’m not sure how much my boots are gonna help!