Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Two Mommies and a History of Blogging

The first time I was introduced to a blog was through a friend, art historian and appraiser Juan Lluria, who recommended I read Chitlins and Camembert. Its author, Amy, is an American girl who studied at the Courtauld Art Institute with our mutual friend and then married a Frenchman and moved to France. At the time I thought she was interesting but didn't really understand the whole blog thing. I thought, ok here is a girl writing about her daily life, kids, etc. what's the big deal? Juan (I believe) simply thought we had a lot in common and could perhaps even work together one day. So I bookmarked Amy's blog and reverted to it from time to time. One day, I'm not quite sure how it happened, I got sucked into the blog circuit, I think it was my highschool classmate, the Amateur Gourmet, who had a lot to do with it. Once my interest in blogging and writing was rekindled I became an avid fan of Amy's writing. She (and I) is now waiting for her first book to be published, a project inspired by the success of her blog.

I have now come to acknowledge that what I love about her writing is the sincerity of it as well as the degree of reflection on "real" issues, mixed in with just as many less important ones. I am often provoked by the topics she brings up, whether they be social stereotyping, political, or racial matters, etc. Until now, and contrary to my nature I have avoided discussing any such topics on my blog. Yet, because of this, many people who know me have commented that there is a lack of me in my blog. So alas, I'm going to throw all caution to the wind and write about the subjects that enter my mind, whether they are more relevant to being a francophile and antiquarian or just the thoughts of a young woman trying to sort out what this life is all about...I would like to imagine that while many of my readers enjoy the beautiful photographs and stories about traveling, you will also be pleasantly provoked by matters of more importance as well.

As Amy was the culprit in all this change, I want to write about a topic she brought up in a post she wrote concerning sexual stereotypes and the concerns of motherhood. You can read it here.

As parents, we always want to protect our children and prevent them from seeing so many ugly things that do exist in this world. Yet, striking the balance between revealing reality and creating a perfect world for them is a tricky one. Cecilia, my eldest, recently came home from school one day and told me that a boy in her class didn't have a mommy and daddy. He has two mommies. I simply let her know, that yes, not all families are like ours, some families have one or two mommies and some may have no mommies. I didn't want to express any prejudice in any way towards families that are not like ours, but I could see by the expression on her face that she seemed a little dumbfounded. Even though I grew up in a very Catholic, Cuban and relatively conservative household, I don't recall any time in my life when different lifestyle choices were frowned upon. Certainly, there were things that I was not allowed to do even though other kids my age were, but there was not a prejudice instilled in me against those people. It was more of a live and let live attitude. There was enough structure and rigidity that I was never tempted to try drugs, get trashed, or "experiment." That other world of unusual things unknown simply had no allure for me. And don't assume that I was not exposed to any of those things. I was a dancer in high school and as in all the art world, dancers too do their share of "experimentation."

I suppose at least some of this was lucky. And now it is important to me that my children grow up being exposed to the diversity of our American culture so that they don't have to go seeking the forbidden fruit when they are older one day.

3 comments:

Don Gerz said...

Great post, Olga, and very important material to boot. Have you considered opening a second blog featuring reflections on social, political, theological, and other topics such as this one? I think such a blog would be as successful as "Dancing through Paris." Again, great post! Keep up the good work. - Don Gerz

Amy Plumb (Amy Huntington) said...

Olga, I left you a response to your comments on my own blog, but have to tell you how honored I felt when I read your post. It is the most rewarding thing for me to know that I touch people with my writing: either by making them laugh, or by provoking thought. And in this case provoking action. I can't wait to see what you choose to talk about!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the best compliment ever.
Amy

Vica said...

I brought this up in Mrs. Zarraluqui's class today. I'm glad you are embracing a progressive perspective as you raise your kids. I hope more mothers will act likewise.

Also, I'm very glad your blog is now going to contain more of what I consider the real "you."

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