Friday, January 22, 2010


Last night, at around 9:00sh, Ben came downstairs to announce that Caleb was “having sad thoughts” again. This is the third such instance in just as many weeks. Caleb thinks of something that makes him cry and Ben comes down to tell us about it.

First,Caleb imagined he got lost somewhere and couldn’t find me. He sobbed as he said, “I looked and looked and I couldn’t find you anywhere.” I comforted him and gave him some helpful strategies should he ever get lost (go tell another mommy you are lost- find a policeman- stay in one spot until I find you) and assured him I would always find him. Then, we prayed and he was seemingly calmer and went to sleep within fifteen minutes.

On Tuesday, Caleb dropped his magic wand down my father’s heating vent. Yes, Caleb carries a magic wand around with him. Doesn’t your child? (It was a part of a magic trick birthday present package.) The heating vent became a source of great curiosity. Where did the vent go? Why couldn’t we get stuff out of the furnace? Is there really a fire down there? Naturally, that evening he sobbed as he thought about the ever-so likely scenario that he gets caught inside the vent. Apparently, in his mind, he called and called for me and I never showed up. So, we had a long conversation about heating duct systems. And about how superb my hearing is.

Last night, Caleb had bad thoughts about Ben being engulfed by lava. Because there are so many volcanoes around here that could erupt at any moment. John handled that one.

Though I was annoyed, as it was time to get my cuddle on and watch The Office with John, I’m a little embarrassed because I do the same thing. There has been many a night when I have let my mind get away from me, nights where I imagine horrible scenarios and end up crying myself to sleep. Occasionally John hears me and wakes up.

“What’s wrong?” he’ll ask.

“I was imagining that I had a horrible disease and only had a month to live and I was thinking about all the things I wanted to say to the kids. Look…” (I hold up my journal) “I started to write them down.” (Further sobbing.) “THEY NEED ME!”

John usually responds with something like, “For the love of God, woman,” and rolls over and goes back to sleep. Now, when Caleb thinks about the less likely event of a volcano erupting in Rochester and taking out Ben, he gets a nice little geography lesson and compassionate words. God help John if I ever DO get a horrible disease.

Lately, at night, I’ve been thinking about all of the things that need to get done and all of the things I want to get done. Then, I chastise myself for spending too much time doing frivolous things, like obsessively finishing my jigsaw puzzle, instead of actual work. Here I am again, procrastinating by writing this blog post instead of working.

When I started the blog, I didn’t know how often I’d post or what I wanted to do with it. I will have had this blog for a year in April, and I’m seriously contemplating ending it then. I know, I know, what will you do without my whining and complaining to read on a weekly basis? Still, blogging for a year seems like a cool thing to have done. It’s just something I’m thinking about. I’ve been encouraged to continue, but if I do, I will still face the same weird and often conflicting challenges every time I sit down to write something, like:

1) I have nothing of importance to say.
2) I have so much to say.
3) I don’t want to offend anyone. Then they might not like me. And that would be the worst.
4) How can I be honest without being overly-revealing, crude, or offensive?
5) My blog has no compass. Is it a mommy blog? Do I want it to be pigeonholed as a mommy blog?
6) Is my personal faith revealed enough in my writing?
7) Isn’t John Edwards the worst? I intensely dislike that man.
8) I don’t feel like promoting my blog anymore. I don’t even want to post it on Facebook. It makes me feel- self-promoting.
9) I spend way too much obsessing over my lousy blog design.
10) Why don’t more people leave comments? Should I ask more questions?

So there are my thoughts. My dad has just called and informed me I should go take a walk because it is sunny. I think I will.


ShellyF said...

I vote for you to keep the blog going. It is a great way for me to smile and not do my work :)
And I am very guilty of the wandering thoughts....always the worst possible things. And there are always tears. And I too get the reprimand from my husband.

J. Andersen said...

Keep it going. I love reading your thoughts. They make me smile and are encouraging in so many ways. (Being a mom, writing, etc.)

J. Andersen said...

P.S. Part of why I don't comment frequently is because I can never figure out how to sign into these stupid things. I get a comment all ready and it won't let me post. :)

Claudia Jabieski said...

I do exactly the same thing.... I think I'm going to die early from cancer or heart failure and leave my children mommy-less. I actually go through scenarios and what I would say to each child.. It's just so sad knowing that I'm going to die... *spirals into deep depression*. A little FYI-- hearing you say that you have the EXACT same thoughts as me helps and blesses me in more ways than you know. Because I can see that you're perfectly healthy and over-reacting, and that means maybe so am I.....

Anonymous said...

Please don't stop writing your blog. I love your writing and would be very sad if you stopped writing.

Anonymous said...

I would highly recommend you end it now before you accidentally reveal the tiniest tidbit of information, unintentionally initiating a string of coincidental events, leading to severe psychological trauma or worse an eating binge followed by the obligatory purge accompanied by the ever-present danger of losing a perfectly good set of dentures in the toilet bowl. As you know, teeth aren’t cheap. END IT NOW WOMAN!! (or maybe not)

Woodswoman Extraordinaire: said...

Well I, for one, would be sad if you stopped blogging. I, too, obsess over 1-5, 9 and 10. But you know what? None of those things really matter. There's meaning in life's minutia when you take out the little moments and look at them. Plus, you're wicked funny, and heaven knows there aren't enough chuckles in my days as it is!

Besides, the day after you stop blogging, one of the kids is going to do something hilarious and you'll miss having an outlet to write about it.

I vote you keep blogging.

Anonymous said...

Okay, okay I will write something! Please, pretty please, keep writing your blog! You have encouraged, inspired, made me laugh, made me go to the dictionary and a whole bunch of stuff I'm unable to communicate, really, you have done all that! So, why stop!? I say................NO!
Pretty please?

Michelle said...

Girl, I am feelin' ya on the blog stuff! But...first to Caleb. My DH is the same way about health babies are still babies so I'm hoping the same thoughts don't happen with them! When my DH is gone, I have thoughts of home intrusions, but in my mind I'm acting out defense strategies since I have a Black Belt in TKD. I like to be prepared. But then I freak myself out and go get the biggest knife we have out of the kitchen. It stays beside my bed. We have a gun but I would never shoot it, I'd just beat them to death with it.

Blog stuff...I may write a blog about what I just said..THANKS! I wrote a few weeks ago about blogging. Um.. can't remember the post. It seems like such a flippin' responsibility sometimes. I have too many blogs to read. I like blogs like yours...they're real. I'm tired of the product promoting stuff. I want real people like you with nothing or too much to say. I like to be offended sometimes because it challenges my beliefs...Just blabbing for you. I'll stop now. :)

The Editor said...

OK -- here goes:

1. Important things are overrated -- and boring. That's why more people watch Kim Kardashian than Anderson Cooper.

2. Then you have to write it, or eventually it will consume you (or you'll bug the hell out of John, who's already like a ticking time bomb).

3. Take it from a REAL offender -- everyone likes you.

4. Write what you want to write, and let the chips fall where they may. To quote Paris Hilton, "What's that on my shoe?" See -- it's easy.

5. No, you don't want to be pigeonholed as a mommy blog. Now, go Google "pigeonholed" and tell us where that expression comes from. It sounds painful.

6. Personal faith also is overrated (see -- this is what a real offender sounds like). Anyway, I'm sure God doesn't care what you write in your blog -- he's too busy causing earthquakes and explaining himself to Pat Robertson. So go nuts.

7. I think we can all agree that John Edwards is an a--. He should be pigeonholed. Repeatedly.

8. There's nothing wrong with self-promoting; it's as American as apple pie. Look where it got John Edwards. P.S. VISIT POINTLESS PLANET!

9. Your blog design is fine. Have you seen some of the crap that's out there?

10. Maybe you should post some hot pics. Just make sure they're not of John; you'd never get all these people to come back.

Don't quit; you're good at this.

susanb4242 said...

What the Editor said......

Holly said...

I see now that I have to threaten to quit my blog in order to elicit any responses. So, look for threats to quit at least once a month from now on.

Just kidding.

Thanks for the kind comments.

By the way, it is too late (in regard to the food binges) and there will be no forthcoming "hot pictures" either. Sorry.

Kristy Kiernan said...

I stumbled on your blog tonight (you really shouldn't leave it out in the middle of the floor like that), and I think you're delightful. Plus, you can spell. The blog-o-sphere needs you. Placing you in my faves...

Toaster said...

For the record, I read this post first thing on Friday before there were any other comments, but I was at work then, and it seemed like I should probably at least pretend to be doing work.

I was actually struck by the very end of your post--you dad really called you and told you to take a walk because it was a sunny day? That's kind of sweet. :) On the other hand, I found Caleb's "sad thoughts" kind of sad. Like you, I can relate, but being the smart psychologist that I am, most of the time, I just try to tell myself (repeatedly!) not to let my mind go there, as it's not good for me. ;)

And finally--DON'T STOP THE BLOG! You have a unique, funny voice. I don't think your blog can be pigeonholed as anything; I'm not a mom, but I enjoy your posts about the kids, mainly because of how YOU tell the story. So keep talking! :D

Anonymous said...

Please don't stop. Your blog posts are encouraging, witty, inspiring, and thought-provoking.

6. Personal faith is NOT overrated. He does care. Your blog might lead someone to the Lord (for that one reason alone, it's totally worth it).

7. Agreed.

freckletree. said...

hmmmm . . . according to your 15 comments, i'd say you are doing much better than me. of course, i offend nearly everyone that reads my blog.

are you blogging for you? or for your reader?

if you aren't writing for yourself, then i would say go ahead and end the blog. otherwise, enjoy it. it sounds like you've made it a job. look, woman, you have enough on your plate! you don't need to sell this thing! people enjoy what you write, but do you need that to keep writing? why are you promoting? worrying about offending people? IT'S YOUR BLOG-- your little piece of the (cyber)world. why are you stressing?

hmmmmmm . . . .

Anonymous said...

This threat to kill the blog makes me think of a suicide threat, more as a cry for attention than than anything. But if you need assurance that people are reading it and loving it, here it is. Holly, you have SO much to live for, SO much more to say, SO many more perfect word pictures to paint. Don't kill the blog!

Holly said...

Look, The Editor! NOT EVERYONE LIKES ME! And to the brave anonymous- yes. Me informing the blogosphere that I am thinking about turning this blogging adventure into a one-year project IS JUST LIKE A SUICIDE THREAT.

Kristy- thanks for stopping by! You're the first award-winning author who has visited by blog!

Freckletree- I appreciate your honesty and willingness to offend. I wish I had half your courage.

Anonymous said...


Um, this is the official husband of Holly Goes Lightly, and I would like to have a word with you outside in the parking lot.

No need to grab your coat. You won't be needing it.

Anonymous said...

This is Almighty God. I'm posting this comment as "Anonymous" (but I'm not any of the other mortal "Anonymouses" appearing here) because (1) I AM that which I AM, which is all that is, and all that ever will be; and (2) I don't have a Google account yet. I just wanted to take a short break from preparing all of the horrible diseases I'm going to give John Edwards to say that Holly has My Divine Approval for this blog, even if it causes some controversy (I'm the One who tipped over the money tables in the Temple, remember). Also, because I am a God of Peace and Love (except when it comes to John Edwards, in which case, believe you Me, I am a God of Vengeance), I urge the Official Husband of Holly not to resort to violence, but to forgive, as I have forgiven his misguided opposition to gay marriage, which (though it may surprise him to hear it) does not offend Me in the least. Finally, it is My Will that everyone who reads this immediately visit Pointless Planet. I am all-knowing, so do as I command. John Edwards has put me in a smiting mood.

Anonymous said...

I have been delinquent in commenting on this entry of the blog. I'm sorry. The Official husband of Holly Goes Lightly can tell you I am an inconsistent friend and, like bears, I am prone to hibernation in the winter time.

Holly, you write because you are a writer; it's what you do. You write a blog because you can't help yourself. For years, you have put being a mommy first and now, for the first time, you have the opportunity to get back to writing.

Your entries are sometimes mommy-related and sometimes feature the antics of the Official Husband of Holly Goes Lightly (keep calling him that, it makes him happy) and sometimes they are just about the writing process. Whatever the topic, they always have the same thing in common -- craftmanship. When I read your mommy blog entries, I always end up feeling the same way -- that I want to be a better father. Now maybe I would have those thoughts anyway, but what I do know is that after reading your blog entries, I DO have those thoughts.

There is no rule that you can't be a mommy and a writer. They (whoever they are) say "write what you know" and it is clear that you know how to be a mommy. You write well about being a mommy. But it is also clear that you write well on other things, whether it was your cruise ship adventure or your tussle with giggling teenage girls trapped in basements.

People read your blog because it makes them feel -- happy, anxiety, funny. The best writers are able to evoke emotions in their readers and you have that in spades.

To answer the rhetorical question you posed, you'll write the blog for as long as you need to. When you no longer need to, you will stop. And when you stop, those who qwere smart enough to read you or lucky enough to stumble upon you will miss you and may be sad to see you go.

In the end, you write because you are a writer. And you don't need me or anyone else to tell you that.

Holly said...

a little choked up here, friend. And I've started referring to John as the official husband etc. etc. Enjoy the remainder of hibernation season.

Heidi said...

"you'll write the blog for as long as you need to. When you no longer need to, you will stop."

I loved this sentiment and find it to be so true. I started my blog not very long ago for a reason along those lines. I needed it, I needed an outlet to see my thoughts and feelings in a concrete manner. It was not for anyone else, and still is not, even though all are welcome to check out my blog

Thank you to Holly's anonymous friend for pointing this out!