Sunday, April 22, 2012
My Dishwasher My Muse
Yesterday my husband woke me up with some disappointing news. Apparently our possessed dishwasher died or slipped into a coma.
Never being one to believe anything that Joe tells me regarding the health of an appliance, I quickly went to check on the patient myself.
I jiggled the door. I tried to rebalance it. I pushed every button I could.
Not one light went on. No odd noises. Nothing.
Joe was right, it was dead.
Our family of five will be without a dishwasher until a repairman comes Tuesday.
I'm going to guess that most moms would be upset at the thought of being without their dishwasher for a few days.
But my first thought wasn't all the dishes I would have to hand wash until the repairman comes and performs what will be the sixth exorcism on this crazy machine that has never worked properly from the day we bought it.
No, the first thing I thought of was, is this a sign? Are the fates trying to tell me something about my blog?
After all, I started blogging at the same time we purchased the dishwasher. It's been my muse, even my alter ego.
To say that I'm a late bloomer in regard to technology would be a gross understatement.
Never in a million years would I have guessed that blogging would become such an important part of my life.
I didn't even have an email address until 18 months ago, and I did that only because my kids' schools went paperless. There I was in the fall of 2010, face-to-face with the modern world of the 1990s.
The idea that I'm now a full-fledged mom blogger writing my weekly essay, keeping up with my Facebook page and Tweeting is enough to make most people who know me crack up.
I know my Alexa ranking, my Google score, and the number of page views I get each day.
There have been times in the last year-and-a-half that my family has wondered who I am and what have I done with their mother?
What happens if my dishwasher gets fixed, or, heaven forbid, replaced?
I have to admit that my crazed appliance has become a bit of a security object, not unlike my youngest son's stuffed bear Fuzzy.
Peter has had Fuzzy since he was nine-months old, and that bear has been through everything with him.
Now seven, Peter doesn't need Fuzzy in the same way he once did. He even left him home the last time he slept over at my parents' house.
But when the pressures of being in first grade really get to him, he still turns to Fuzzy.
I feel that way about the crazed appliance. Can I write without my dishwasher being possessed?
You may think it silly for a grown women to be so attached to a kitchen appliance, especially one that barely functions.
But the dishwasher came into our lives at the same time that I started this blog. I was very nervous about finally putting my thoughts out on the Internet and pressing publish.
I knew I had something to say and something to offer, but thinking it and actually doing it are two different things.
I was also at a crossroad.
Peter was starting kindergarten.
For the first time in 12 years I was going to have a stretch of time with no kids at home.
My identity had been very tied up in being a mom to small kids. It was a job I had wanted for as long as I could remember, and I was feeling very sad that this chapter was ending.
I loved walking babies in strollers, cuddling them in a rocking chair, and chasing toddlers around the supermarket. I was sad that this time was over.
Turning to writing and blogging has filled a void in my life.
In the last 18 months, I have found much joy in writing and sharing our family's adventures. I love being the mom behind the crazy appliance.
I'm not the same person I was when I started posting my weekly blogs.
I'll confess that the children are not always sure they like this new mom.
"Mom, you have become obsessed with that site," my 13-year-old said to me after a recent family outing. "All you do is write and work on the blog."
He was really upset. My kids were not used to sharing me with anyone, least of all a blog.
I felt for him. I have very clear memories of how I felt when my mother started to work and really loved it.
I explained that as much as I love being their mom, my blog brings me a lot of pleasure. We also went over the guidelines about what I could and could not share about them.
The truth is as much as I love my life as a mom, I really like my time as a writer.
At 46 I have found a path that I really enjoy.
And, I have a possessed dishwasher to thank for it.
Even if its demon is exorcised on Tuesday.