When I discovered blogging, I made a mistake and told my mother about it. She didn’t get it at all.
“Why are you doing that?”
“It’s fun to write stories and read other people’s comments,” I said.
“How do you know they are who they say they are? They might be scammers. You could get a virus, you know.”
Trying to tell my mother about secure servers, virus protection, and anonymity is like telling the Holy Father about birth control. Why bother?
I simply said, “It’s safe, Mom. I don’t even use real names.”
“So what. Hackers could find out.”
“You know the story about the tree and the elephant cables? Well, I write stories like that on my blog,” I said. “You’d get a kick out of them”
“I don’t go on the internet for stories. My computer is too slow. No. No..No..I wouldn’t do that. Can’t you just mail the stories? Just send them to me.”
We didn’t need to be skyping for me to see her shaking her head. I dropped the subject like a coconut from a skyscraper. I told myself it didn’t matter if she reads my blog. That was a fat lie.
Mom called today.
“I read your blogs, you know,” her sing-song tone sounded like a nananaboobee.
“Oh.” I said. I wanted to jump up and down, shout hallelujah, and do a cartwheel. I was proud of her.
“Well, what did you think, Mom?”
“There’re wonderful!….You should be writing your book.” There it was – a “should be” – an admonishment dressed up and ready for church.
“I’m doing both at the same time,” I said.
“Okay, yeah, yeah,yeah… You remember Bob? Well, his father died and the funeral was yesterday…”
A funeral? So she called to tell me about a funeral?
She told me she sang at the service, baked a cake, and brought over a casserole for the family. When she received the thank-you note, she was baffled at how much her gifts had meant to them. An implied shucks it was nothing. A lie. Maybe she didn’t expect them to express their gratitude so deeply. I’m sure she appreciated knowing that what she did mattered.
“Mom, remember how grateful we were when Dad died and all those people brought food to the house? We sent thank-you notes, too. Kindness matters.”
Not long after our conversation ended, it occurred to me that shucks, it was nothing was the same response I had made when she told me she reads my posts. It matters.
Happy writing and happy weekend!