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Many of my favorite things began in March: my Husband, the invention of shoelaces, the motion picture machine, and What The Flicka. Happy Birthday. We are two years old this month. (Shit, we are now a toddler, batten down the hatches and reach for the Xanax!) But before we light the candles and make a wish, I have a little tradition to share with you. The brilliant writer, director Lee Rose taught me this for birthday dinners:
First, the guests each say what they love and cherish about the birthday gal or guy. Second they say what they wish for them in the coming year. It’s a fantastic ritual and makes the celebration meaningful.
1. Luigi Picarazzi, who started What The Flicka with me, keeps believing in it’s viability and sets his eye on the horizon.
2. Melody Hernandez, who is the inspired engine behind What The Flicka, 24/7.
3. That our community is courageous and truthful and fucking funny.
4. That we don’t take ourselves too seriously, but seriously take on the task of parenting day to day.
5. That we know that much of Motherhood is boring and mundane, but being in relationship with your children means you have to be in the middle of the boring and mundane. And we are interested in each other’s stories anyway.
6. I love that What The Flicka challenges me and scares me and takes me out of my comfort zone daily. I also hate this – but I love it more.
7. That we have created a safe place for parents to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly.
8. That we offer a judgment free zone.
9. That we get letters from readers around the world, Turkey, France, Ireland, etc. And that despite coming from different countries and different cultures we all speak the same language of Motherhood.
Part Two: Wishes for the coming year.
I reached out to some smart women who have written brilliant works dealing with motherhood: Kelleen Patricia Forlizzi, Meredith Michaels and Susan Douglas to name a few. I pondered, I wrote, I rewrote, and distilled. Here is my wish list for What The Flicka on our second anniversary.
1. That we continue to laugh and be brave and be honest.
2. That we don’t apologize or feel ashamed of ANYTHING WE EXPERIENCE!
3. That we continue to seek advice and learn from each other.
4. That we don’t allow cell phones at the dinner table or in the car.
5. That all the “vs.” stop. You know, breast-fed vs. bottle-fed, Sleep training vs. family bed, working mom vs. stay at home mom. I say if our kids are alive and decent citizens at 18 we all deserve a fucking medal.
6. And while we are at it, that the term “working mother” becomes as comical and redundant as “working father.” Come on! All mothers work, no matter where, no matter what.
7. That we release each other, and ourselves, from the idea of the “Perfect Mother.” She should go the way of the dinosaur; extinct and lost in the myths of time .
8. That we all cry “bullshit” on the publicity surrounding motherhood. That it, “just comes naturally to good (read perfect) mothers.” So, it’s not really work or difficult, nor does it require self-sacrifice.
9. That we stop being taken in by that cool hat trick where Motherhood is idealized and devalued at the same time.
10. That we give up the notion that a “good mother” loves being a mother every day.
11. That we are able to say, “ My kids are driving me crazy! I hate this.” Without having to follow it up with, “I mean love my kids – they are the best thing in my life.”
It’s going to be a wonderful year. I can’t wait to see what we do and who we are by the time our third year comes around. Let me know what you appreciate and what you wish for What The Flicka.
Okay, that’s it. Blow out the candles – lets have some cake.