There are times when it is perfectly clear to me why a certain blog I have written is read more than others. In my world that means that the blog entry gets read a hundred times or more. My blogs, especially here at WP since my appearance here nearly a year ago, have been a lot more personal, my angst thrown in so much that it keeps me from really wanting to publicize my blog. Sooner or later that will need to change. I want to have fun with my writing, get away from therapeutic writing, challenge myself a bit more. When I write a personal blog, I do not expect it to be read much, expect that it will likely drive away readers.
Occasionally I will write a blog that reflects the passion I felt as I wrote the blog. Over the years, not necessarily on WP but on other blog providers, I have had a few blogs that were read by so many people that I could not keep up with comments. One blog that I wrote about being the only white family at a Baptist church service, even made its way to the hands of a Chicago radio station and was read during a discussion about reverse racism. I caught part of the discussion, heard my blog being read, and had one of the coolest experiences I have had as a blogger. Passionate blogs like that don’t come very often.
I like that stats feature offered by WP. Like most bloggers here, I check my daily stats regularly. My numbers are no where close to staggering, so there is no pride there, but what I do see is what blogs are read on a regular basis. Since I have the time right now, I took the opportunity to see which blogs have been read the most since I began writing here. There was one I was interested in seeing the numbers on, a blog I wrote a little over a month ago, one I see pop up as being read every day and more than once.. and not by me.
People must be interested in my Mom’s underwear. Or underwear. Or Moms. I am not sure why.
There are reasons why the blog is one I enjoyed writing and enjoy reading. For one, I can see how my perception of my parents’ relationship has matured, my understanding evolving as I experience marriage, as my interaction with them has gone from child to adult.. although I am clearly still their child. I also can see how my appreciation for my father is increased, important to me not only as a son, but also as the father of a male child.
Want to know what my boy said to me last weekend, as I sat and listened to him angrily spew his teenage perceptions of me? I want you to see the word I used — listened. Instead of react to what he was saying, I wanted to hear what he was saying to me instead.
Dad, I think you are a really good dad, most of the time you are better than other dads, but I don’t think you are being a good dad right now.
I know what he is going to remember because I know what I remember about my own dad. I remember the positive my dad offered to me — the support, the freedom to learn about life on my own and the care to offer his take when I asked for it (wish I had asked more), a unique ability to never shove my mistakes down my throat. It didn’t hurt that Dad was also an excellent baseball player, just as cool to me then as it is now, as well as a talented amateur carpenter who built houses for his family even while working a full time job as a computer systems analyst.
Dad also shared with me and showed me more about his relationship with my mother than I realized. He was frank with me without asking me to take a side, praising her, worrying about her, letting me know that there were things about her that were a challenge to him, but somehow doing that in an acceptable way. Now, when he talks to me about her, I can go back in my memory, see where they were and how they got to where they are as a couple today.
I like that underwear blog for that reason. That blog reflects what I have observed about my parents and their relationship. Mom was sick when I wrote that blog, Dad adapting to her being sick and enthusiastically taking on the caregiver role with her. That time was painful for Dad, a struggle, and it showed to me the strength of a relationship that will survive into eternity. No wonder that blog is one of my favorites. Maybe that is why others are reading it.
Mom is a whole lot better. I talked with her at length on the phone this past Monday. Maybe the best way to close this blog is with a quote of something she told me in that conversation:
“Steve, I can’t wait to start cooking again. I miss baking my pies and all the recipes I used to make. I hope I remember how to cook them. But your Dad is having such a good time in the kitchen, I am not sure I am going to be able to get him out of my way…..”