Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tackled it!

It's not really in me to enjoy controversial issues. I don't like disharmony. It's usually not in me to speak up if we disagree about a matter. Mostly because I don't really care that you disagree with me. I think you can think what ever you want about a thing. It doesn't bother me at all if you don't see it the way I do. I don't need to be the loudest voice in the room. I don't have to be right. So for me to tackle my Practical Parenting article yesterday with such a hot button topic - - well let's just say I really struggled to get it written.

What was published was soooo not my first draft. I asked my darling husband to preview my draft for me and he absolutely ix-nayed-on-the-original-a.
(I have no idea how to spell Pig Latin.)
((I have no idea how to speak in Pig Latin))

The first draft was much, much more controversial. I used a term "good mother". I referred to myself as a "good mother". I used "quotes" to convey that it was a tongue-in-cheek term. Just like when you are having a conversation with someone and they raise their hands and move their fingers in the air when they say a word sarcastically. My hubby said it wasn't translating sarcastically in the piece. He said I sounded like I was making a point as if I was better than a reader who might disagree with me.

Again, I don't care if you disagree with me. (Oh! we've already been through this...)

But I will say that I really like being liked. So while I am unconcerned about whether we agree on a subject matter I do quite care whether or not you will find me likable. Seems to me those characteristics shouldn't be packaged up in the same person....and yet here I am.

Needless to say, when I hit send on the email to my editor yesterday my heart was a-pounding. At school, I saw my principal reading the article on her computer screen and my heart was pounding. I checked the comment section of the newspaper's website a trillion times worried about the backlash - all with my heart pounding.

There's been no controversy (yet) and nothing but positive comments from other parents (whew!). When I wrote on the Amy Chua's book The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother a few weeks back, and just recently got sucked into the well anticipated Rob Bell book Love Wins, I said note to myself: write something controversial.

Good Lord! I don't think my lil' overworked pumping heart can stand the pressure of controversy.

It's actually quite a big deal to me that I wrote and published yesterday's article. If for no other reason, if nothing good comes out of it, I did it for me. I was brave enough to hit send. Kinda proud of myself.

QUESTION: How do you handle little controversial issues? Seriously, I think I could learn to handle them better. Quiet isn't always the right behavior, but isn't it important to be respectful? How do you do both?

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