Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Birthing a Blog

This Woman's Work - Kate Bush (mp3)
Where Do the Children Go? - Hooters (with Patty Smyth) (mp3)

I just gave birth to a second blog.

My job and I had been talking about having a blog together for a couple of years now, ever since a consultant suggested it might make us a better place. We discussed the idea together, but our parents thought we were too young and weren't quite sure enough how to raise a blog in the kind of nurturing and confident way that blogs need to grow up and be big blogs.

A few years later, as the economy sank into the tank and budgets got tighter than the sphincter of a BP vice president walking through the Ninth Ward, the idea of birthing a blog -- no cost! lots of fun stats to track! -- suddenly appealed more to the parents. In tough economic times, everyone loves a new baby. Especially one that doesn't cost much to feed. "If it can live off your two boobs," they told me, "then it's a great idea!"

So working hard with an in-house fertilization expert, I implanted my egg in a WordPress womb and began a summer-long gestation period. As the time passed, and as more teachers agreed to help raise this blog in a nurturing and supportive environment, my hopes grew. I began to envision this blog actually growing up, maybe even going to college and getting a degree.

You see, Bottom of the Glass is more like a crack baby. Bob and I were tipsy and bored and, on something of a lark, wondered if we could actually raise a blog together. We weren't in a committed relationship, but we knew we had a lot of the same hopes and goals for a blog, and we also shared a similar level of minimal ambitions. The desire to write was the crack. We just wanted a place that might push us to write a little more frequently. And we'd post some music to draw in a few strangers. And we'd guilt a lot of our friends into reading it and commenting. But we were in bed together because of that love of writing. And I can't speak for my blog baby-daddy, but the goal of forcing me to write more could not have been more successfully met. BOTG is the perfect hippie lovechild.

BOTG had little chance of failure in our eyes. As parents, we would have been satisfied with an elementary school dropout. So long as our little blog didn't hurt anyone and stayed out of jail, we'd love it and support it. And BOTG, much like most children, has lived down to our low expectations. It hasn't been optioned into a book deal or garnered its parents any magazine writing gigs, but then, we never really begged for such things. We love it (almost) unconditionally.

The blog I've birthed with my job is under greater pressure. Its grandparents expect this little newborn to improve search engine results, to attract more students to the school, to increase our school's imprint on the world. They half expect the blog to grow up and become President. Except I'm not quite sure yet how interested these grandparents are in spoiling this infant. I'm pretty sure they're the kind of grandparents who are far more interested in receiving than in giving. As a protective and exhausted single dad, that makes me very nervous.

Some of the blog's uncles and aunts seem more excited about my baby blog than my parents. My parents want the blog to just hurry the f*#k up and become an adult; these other relatives don't mind cooing and coddling the infant. I've already had several relatives pitch in and write something. And a decent number of students -- its cousins, I reckon -- will even pitch in over the coming weeks. Lots of support, at least in the early going.

And I love my new baby. I'm an optimistic parent. I can see all these potential avenues to the future, and many of those possibilities are quite exciting. If it falls shy, its failure will be the sins of its father. Youth, or ignorance, or a failure to put this mewling thing in the right places at the right times.

Babies are about the promise of tomorrow. They're about investing energy, losing sleep, and lots and lots of breastfeeding. My nipples are sore as hell, and I worry if my baby can make it in this cold cruel world, but my heart is swollen with a strange and invigorating pride, and I feel like we can find a better place in the world together.

Ain't that what parenthood is all about?


Bob said...

So what's the word? Are people reading it?

Bob said...

Ok, I guess this post doesn't speak to anyone but me. Now that I've read it again, your extended metaphor is making me queasy. You and I did what to birth our blog? We're parents together? And, in terms of your new blog, who is your daddy???????

Billy said...

Re: New Blog. Yes, people are reading it, but I'm not sure what number constitutes enough people.

Re: Our lovechild. We slept together. Metaphorically. And you were great, by the way.

Re: New blog's baby daddy. The blog is very much a John Irving-type character whose second parent is something of a mystery. If you mean my own father in this case, or the blog's grandparents, I'm thinking that my boss is my daddy. Metaphorically.

Sara C said...

I love the metaphor. The grandparents/boss image works quite well, I think. Don't let that ex-lover ruin your new fling. He's just jealous you're spending so much time with somebody new.