I laughed when I clicked open a reader’s email this morning (can you believe I still have readers after my last few posts? Me neither.) to the subject line “just what the world needs, another mommy blogger.”
She’s right, I laughed to myself. And then I thought a little longer about it and actually, you know what? That’s exactly what the world does need.
I work in the news, which means I wade daily through the endless cycle of blood, suffering, horror and abuse that qualifies as attention-grabing. I read all the headlines, and I take note of all the trends cycling out there. I don’t have to tell you that it’s grim; 5 minutes of channel surfing will make that clear to anyone.
Here’s the thing though, despite the tired old adage about how if it bleeds, it leads and the sad reality that horror is endlessly fascinating in a broken world: we need good things to put into our bodies. We need good food, clean water, and, just as desperately but perhaps less apparently, we need good news.
Ultimately, we need the Good News, but we need little ‘g’ good, too. We need to read stories about how moms are holding their children tight at night and simultaneously cursing the nap-striking phase while marveling at the soft, sweet baby skin still covering their big strong toddler’s body.
We need that shot in the arm that reading about another woman’s experience with childbirth/schooling/potty training/depression/marriage/illness can give. In our virtual village here on the web we can give – and receive – the kind of support many of us don’t have in our physical villages.
Beyond that though, the world needs to see the truth, goodness and beauty of motherhood and family life. And while I’m under no impression that the world reads my blog, nor that I particularly exemplify those big three most days, I do feel a certain civic responsibility to put it out there. (I mean yes, I guess I must also be an attention-seeking over-sharer, but that just makes this particular medium a natural fit for me.)
Maybe your medium is creating meals for friends with new babies or challenging illnesses in their families. Maybe you create beauty by throwing fabulous parties in your warm, artistically and lovingly decorated home (I’m looking at you, Meg). Maybe you are an amazing conversationalist who doesn’t mind chewing the fat with the lady behind you in line at Target, or, (horrors) maybe you actually seek out strangers with whom to converse pleasantly. Here is my point (what a relief); we all have something beautiful, life-giving and necessary to contribute to the world. It might seem little or insignificant to you, or even redundant. But beauty is redundant. It’s the breathtaking over-and-over again of the sunset that keeps us looking up each night, marveling over the colors and the clouds. And let’s be honest, pretty much all newborns arrive sporting the same red ‘n wrinkled look, and yet a glimpse of the innocence in their squinty eyes and the tiny, mewling cries coming out of their mouths before the epidural fully wears off are enough to bring a grown man to tears.
So what I’m saying is, if you feel like you have something to say, you’d better speak up, because this world could surely use another voice proclaiming something Good. God knows there’s plenty of bad news coming from every direction. And there’s no such thing as too much beauty.