Last December 17, I sat on my bed in my white chenille bathrobe, pillows piled behind and around me, and wrote my first post on this blog. All I knew about blogging at the time was that the experts suggested you should write about what you knew and what you liked and what you cared about.
Well, there aren’t a lot of issues on which I’m an expert. There is one thing I’ve done right – I stumbled upon this great formula, without knowing exactly what I was doing, for raising my kids. They’ve both turned out to be happy and vibrant and kind people who contribute to the common good in their own ways. They’re successful, they don’t whine, they’re interested in the great wide world out there, and best of all, they’re freaking great fun to spend time with.
So there’s that. But I couldn’t imagine blogging about single parenting, putting my own pedantic advice and ideas out there in cyberspace, especially since it was all so seat-of-the-pants most of the time. Heck, I really don’t remember half of what happened because we were always in a flurry to get laundry done, macaroni and cheese on the table, cats fed, homework done, project supplies purchased. I never seemed to get caught up – I’d find myself sitting in the den late at night at the Dakota House on the throw-away couches (purchased at a garage sale and died purple, because that’s what we liked, and sturdy enough that big, lumbering high school boys could fall onto them without injuring themselves or breaking the furniture) after the kids were asleep and I’d think, “Where did that day go?” I’d also think about my to-do list and everything still remaining to be done. And then I’d go to bed with a book and stop thinking about it, because the list was never going to be completed anyway.
The three of us spent an inordinate amount of time on the road, hauling Johanna to day care and Zachary to the Academy and Johanna to violin lessons and Zachary to guitar and Johanna to the North Valley to sleepover with Gabby and Zachary to Paradise Hills to play Legos with Matt and Johanna to meet her dad for the weekend and then Zachary to meet his dad for the weekend. We spent hours in the car (maybe that’s the secret after all – get them in the car and they’ll eventually have to talk to you and pretend they like you and they’re listening).
I guess it was all that time in the car that inspired me to write this blog in the manner I did. Because in addition to the hours on the road spent for practical purposes, we also tried to squeeze in as many free and fun activities as possible. Day trips to Gran Quivera and Sandia Peak and Santa Fe, or to Old Town to the Albuquerque Museum on Sundays, when admission was free for New Mexico residents. If I was a pseudo-expert on single parenting, I was truly an expert at finding affordable, interesting events and sights in New Mexico.
I love New Mexico for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it allowed me to raise my kids in a fashion that mattered to me. It’s the home of a laid back kind of lifestyle that didn’t set any impossible standards for us as a family, and it provided us with a beautiful place to spend our days in the car telling one another stories.
There are still lots of places to see and stories to tell. Zachary and Johanna and I still have hours and hours to spend in the car together, I hope. I’m thankful today for all of you who decided to come along for the ride. It’s been fun for me, if nothing else.
Just for the heck of it I looked at my stats before I started this post. This is my 98th post. There have been 13,873 views of the blog (holy mackerel!). My busiest day was when I posted the Bob Wills in Roy, New Mexico post. I’ve written about Harding County and my favorite posole recipe and Albuquerque restaurants and Santa Fe festivals and Clovis drive-through burrito stands and Popejoy Hall and gypsy stew from the Pink Adobe and Cimarron ghosts and Red River deer feeding and the Gallegos Ranch and dozens of other topics that are, I believe, perfectly New Mexican.
What I’m sure of is that I’ve barely scratched the surface of what makes New Mexico so special. Stick around. Let’s see where this ride takes us in 2011.