Dear Lily June,
A scant five months ago, the inestimable and incredibly generous blogger behind Little Bits of Heaven nominated me for The Entertainer Blogger Award. I had hoped, in that amount of time, to have learned a trade worthy of the title, but alas and alack n’at (as they say in Shakespearean Pittsburghese).
As of today, I can still only “juggle” two rubber duckies (which I don’t think counts as anything other than “tossing” with style). I can’t carry a tune unless it’s in the shower (but when recording studios are replaced with plastic curtains and tiled walls, watch out, Adele. I’m coming for you.) And I haven’t broken a single world record (unless World’s Most Consecutive Days Spent Complaining about Being Tired has been added to the Guinness Book without my knowledge).
No, when the world clamors “Entertain Us!”, I, like Cobain, am likely to beg off, citing feeling both stupid and contagious. (Don’t worry, Lily; I will teach you Ye Olde Alternative Ways of your ancient mother, starting, of course, with the Old Songs.)
Because I can’t think of anything more impressive to brag about than being able to…
- …move one (crossed) eye at a time…
- …say “What luck it is to be retired” in Polish, the only expression other than beer I remember from my college language courses (“Co za szczęście , że ma być na emeryturze”)…
- …or recall 86.5% of the lyrics to “The End of the World as We Know It” (another Ye Old Song), when sober–possibly more when inebriated…
I think I’ll leave the real entertaining up to the pros (i.e. you).
After all, since I started this blog, you’ve learned to manipulate your parents by pretending to fall asleep when you should be eating, say the words “Bye-bye,” “Duck, and “Cap’n” and the sentence “I pooped,” stand and walk on your own two feet (literally, not figuratively), twerk with your own cute diapered tush, etc. etc. I think we all know, Lily, that though these are my letters to you, you’re the real star and thus entertainer in the blogging business.
But I’ll do my best regardless to follow the rules below.
The Rules of The Entertainer Blogger Award:
- Write a post including the award picture.
- Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring, and most importantly ENTERTAINING!
- Add these rules to the post.
- Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog!
- Also, answer the questions down below.
So, Lily June, I was asked the following:
1.) Why did you start to blog in the first place?
Some explanation of this can be found in my Hello Lily post, written when you were only 2 months old, Lily. You’re now over 14 months old, so an update is due.
A longer, truer answer can be found in my favorite movie, Juno, about a young girl (the titular character) who gets pregnant in high school and decides to give the baby up for adoption. When the adoptive mother, Vanessa Loring, holds the baby for the first time, she asks Juno’s stepmother, Bren, how she looks. Bren replies that she looks…
“…like a new mom. Scared shitless.”
I think that about encapsulates, Lily, what it is to become a parent. You endlessly second-guess yourself, wondering if the choices you’ll make for your child (things like, in my case, being a working mother) will pan out into happiness and success. Writing these letters to you gives me a sounding board for lessons I may one day teach you, and the hive mind of the internet is quick to swarm when I may be off base. I’m grateful for the “village” my internet family has become. I’m also grateful for a way to communicate with you when I’m at work 8-9 hours a day, daydreaming about your face.
2.) What is your favorite book?
One of my personal favorites is J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, for no matter how many times I read it (and I’ve read it a lot), I always come away with something new. It’s about a family of geniuses, and the glory and the torture of being a member.
One of Lily’s personal favorites is Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Little Pea about a pea forced by his family to eat all of his candy for dinner if he wants his spinach for dessert. (Try, Lily, when you’re older not to think too much about the underlying vegetable cannibalism there.)
3.) What do you dislike the most?
I hate anything that might make the world a harder place for my daughter–racism, sexism, pretty much any -ism.
As for Lily, she hates bananas. And bed time. And when the book Little Pea ends for the 23rd time in a any given day.
4.) What is your favorite food item from the mall?
Mall pizza. It’s thinner, longer, greasier, lovelier. Sure, sometimes it tastes like the paper plate it’s served on, but with cheese. Anything’s better with cheese. I believe as one of my favorite cartoon characters of all time, Daria Morgendorffer, believed, that all of life is improved with pizza.
5.) What is your favorite pastime activity?
You’re reading it. Time was, I would have said reading, or even writing poetry, which is my true avocation. But these days, it doesn’t get better than pushing you, Lily, around in an inflatable crab at our local pool on weeknights, and coming up, all the while, with all the things I’ll write to you on the weekdays.
Ironic, then, that my biggest fear is the idea that I’ll one day share them with you. Forgive my late 80’s, early 90’s sensibilities, my darling daughter. It was a simpler time, when cynicism ruled and my goth/grunge-dressed self might have rolled her eyes at the sentimentalist I’d someday become. Before I socked her in her idiot eye.
And because one kindness deserves another, here are my 12 nominees, in no particular order. (Bloggers, if you aren’t on the list below, either you’re award-free or you will be on a list coming soon. Trust me; I read endlessly.)
- LindaLanger6–They say “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Trust me when I say, Linda’s blog, in the best of ways, is pretty spectacularly brief.
- Sara of Positive Affirmations for Women–Everything she writes teaches me something, whether it be about shame or isolation or awe or Alaska. Everything.
- The Happy Traveler–Proust said “The voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” This blog changes how I see humanity.
- Behind the White Coat–If awards came with actual trophies, this blogger would need a separate home just to hold all her well-deserved earnings.
- Orchidblue–Her love-life is exhausting, her work-life intimidating, her blog-life entertaining. Also, her close friend is a shaman who can predict everything.
- maggy liu–Her poetry is gut-wrenching, soul-searching, mind-blowing. Also, she has a recent poem about trying to vomit vodka. Unsuccessfully.
- Jesska of not throwing stones–This real, honest to goodness glassblower always has a unique take on life. Reading her blog has improved my (German) vocabulary.
- Hannah of Wordsmith Observations–By far, the youngest blogger I read, she is nevertheless precociously witty & wise in her (her word) entertainingness.
- The Shameful Narcissist Speaks–A line in her bio is one of the best I’ve ever read: “a lover of the villainous and fluffy.” Intrigued? You should be.
- MeRaw–She’s lived everywhere; she’s done everything. Her blog is a series of tributes to her son, taken too soon, but alive in the minds of her readers.
- Shelley of Life in My Tin Can–Nobody is kinder or sweeter than Shelley. When I read her posts, they make me want to be a better human being.
- Free Bird–They don’t make single working mothers / divorce survivors stronger. She is an inspiration to any woman, mother, human, reader.
Even if any of the nominees above choose not to partake in this “award,” I hope they know that they’ve got a very entertained fan in me (and maybe you, too, someday, Lily).