In 1997 and 1998, in gyms and auditoriums and grange halls and possibly a couple of airports and even once on a stage in Disney World, a bunch of gangly teenagers performed The Beatles’ “Birthday.”
As an adolescent a capella group wearing matching outfits that looked exactly nothing like this:
the reaction we got wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as when Sir Paul McCartney performs it:
People tend to feel uncomfortable admitting it’s their birthday and then being cheerfully serenaded at public gatherings. Except kids. Kids love that shit. But we powered through, even if no one in the audience said it was their birthday, and the whole thing felt kind of awkward and we couldn’t wait to get it over with so we could sing our favorite: a Wim-o-Weh/Lion King mash-up. It was exactly as awesome as you’re thinking it would be.
Anyway, “Birthday” is kind of a weird song. Only The Beatles can make lyrics like “take a cha-cha-cha-chance” and “it’s my birthday too, yeah” sound like a cool song and not just a lame pick-up line. For me, it’s the intricate harmonies of the instruments and back-up singing that really make the song. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of “yeah yeah yeahs” and the word “birthday” over and over again. So while the lead singer of our rendition did a great job making the birthday person in the audience feel, um, special, she really needed the rest of us to round out the music and drive the beat.
Yesterday was a sort of birthday for me. I started this blog on May 13, 2013, so as of yesterday, Shakespeare’s Mom is one year old. The writing I’ve done over the past year may not be anything spectacular, but the important thing is that I’ve been writing – more than I ever have at any point in my life before. I’ve written about everything from boobs to babies, from bad TV to bad clams, from the silly stuff to the the serious stuff, but I didn’t do any of it alone.
The nicest thing someone ever did for me was to kick my ass into gear and encourage me to write more. To write a blog. To write at all.
My husband did that for me.
He is a man of action, so he didn’t just say, “Oh yeah, honey, a blog is a great idea.” Oh no. He bought me an awesome laptop and a subscription to Writer’s Digest for Christmas in 2012. He loved my quirky idea for the blog’s name and bought the domain name and got my website set up for me. He is good at all the stuff I suck at – stuff like trying new things and tackling a big project. Also technology. He gets it. Likes it, even. He doesn’t take any shit from technology, and for that I am incredibly grateful.
And then, of course, it was pretty nice of him to create our children with me. While I often wish that I had more time alone so that I could think clearly and then maybe even write a sentence or two clearly, the truth is that having these children, becoming a mother, is what has given me the drive and the confidence to write. Being a mom also provides some pretty handy subject matter. My daughters are the most complicated people I’ve ever known. They are capable of making me feel like shit one second and like the luckiest woman in the world the next. They are brave and funny, generous and demanding, crushingly exhausting and overwhelmingly lovable. The complexity of my relationship with them tests, teaches, and terrifies me every single day, and holy hell does it ever give me stuff to write about.
So I may be the one driving this thing, the one making lame-o graphics on PicMonkey and typing up my goofy life stories in the hope that someone just might read and enjoy them, but I am not alone. I have some kick-ass back-up singers who bring it all together. Without them, it would just be me, saying a lot of “yeah yeah yeah’s” and repeating myself.
And then there’s you, my audience, my family and friends, both in “real life” and on the internet. I have made new connections over the past year with some truly kind and supportive bloggers and readers. It’s amazing what great people you discover when you put yourself out there. I’ve also deepened connections with people that I already knew, but who probably had no idea what was going on in my head before I started writing it all down.
So cheers to my husband for getting me started, cheers to my kids for everything that they are, and cheers to everyone who takes time out of your lives to read my words. Thank you so very, very much for being here with me over my first year of blogging. I still have no idea what the hell I’m doing, but I’m having a good time, and I hope you are too. If you guys were all here right now, we could be throwing back some rocks-no-salt margaritas together to celebrate my “birthday,” but since that would be a completely chaotic party, and my dogs would go nuts and my kids would freak out, you’ll just have to make your own.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. I’m putting it up a little early, because of the birthday thing, and I’m hoping they won’t mind. This week’s prompt was: “The nicest thing someone ever did for me was…”
The FTSF link-up is hosted by four fun, fresh, and fabulous bloggers: