You guys. Gifts come from the most unexpected places sometimes, as my friend Jen says.
Last night I was feeling kind of crummy about a super-negative online review of my book*--I won't even link to it, not because I think everyone on earth should love my book, but because the review itself was one of those ranting, semi-anonymous, spewing-bile pieces of prose that go on and on and are all wrapped up in their own anger and insults and say a lot more about the writer of the review than they do about the actual book in question. And it got so many things just flat-out wrong about me--not just my intentions as a mom and writer, but actual facts about me and this blog and my book and the writing of my book--the kinds of things you just want to correct and defend yourself over, you know? It just made me mad and sad, even though I knew it was ridiculous. And I was on my own, parenting, because Christopher was gone for an out-of-town bike race, which made me want to be an even better mom because I'm doing it alone, but I was also tired, which made me feel bad about not being a better mom--whatever that even is, because I know I'm a good mom and so do my daughters.
This morning I woke up--super early as always--with my children, got them breakfast and supervised homework, still feeling tired and low, like you sometimes do. I was browsing around online and went to read Glennon over at Momastery, which right there is like being led to just the right thing, because you know, Glennon, right? How her entire life's motto is Love Wins? How her whole philosophy about the world is that even the crazy, cranky people are there to teach us how to respond, how we can learn a lot from the people that make us want to scream or cry (I'm sorry if I'm getting it at wrong in any way, Glennon). Love wins. Responding to mean people with love and charity, wins. Refusing to get caught up in their anger and insults--that wins. That's how everyone wins.
So that alone was kind of cool. That I went to Momastery. But then, somehow, I can't remember how, from Momastery I clicked around and ended up at this. This letter. This letter to stay-at-home moms. And not only did it validate everything I wrote in chapter 1 of my book, but it said the kindest, most generous, most loving things about stay-at-home moms--from someone who isn't one. Have you ever heard of such a thing?? How often does that happen?! I'll tell you what: not often. And it made my day. This letter just blew me out of the water. I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude over this letter.
See? Love really does win. And gifts come from unexpected places. (Also from expected ones of course, like my friend Margaret, who is a wise woman indeed and who always, ALWAYS makes me feel better about myself and about this hard and wonderful job of being a mom when I need her help, even when it's via Facebook at nine p.m.--thank you, Margaret.)
You deserve that letter, too. You deserve unexpected gifts. We're all in this together, and we should support and love each other as moms, not strive to make each other feel as badly as possible about our experiences of and reactions to motherhood. Glennon knows this, and so does Nicole Unice, the author of that letter. So do my friends Margaret and Jen (and many others).
[*Edited to add: I should mention, because I know some of you are going to write me and advise me to not even look at reviews, that I don't normally read anonymous (or anonymous-ish) reviews of my book by random members of the vast reading public; I can't remember the last time I even saw or thought about one. This time I was responding to a public speaking request and was clicking around online getting links for the organization in question, and don't even know how this one caught me by surprise. So, don't worry about me. I learned long ago--back when a certain psychologically disturbed troll who shall remain nameless but with whom I am well familiar dogged me on the B&N site and put up scads of fake horrible "reviews" as fast as he/she could set up different accounts and type them--that these types of reviews aren't worth the time it takes to skim them. That does not mean I don't appreciate, with every fiber of my being, the real, heartfelt reviews that other moms have written, posted, and sometimes even sent to me with genuine love and gratitude. I truly love my readers. I really do.]
Have a wonderful Saturday, friends. Remember: love wins.