1. I did not write any part of this looking to garner attention. I have blogged for years, and a few friends read it. I had never had more than a handful of comments on any previous post. I am just as shocked as you are that this went viral. If I could have predicted this would go viral, I would also have advertising on my blog and possibly a high paying job at an ad agency.
2. I did not write any part of it for ‘shock value,’ ‘tweetability,’ or any other reason. I wrote it from my heart. In about 10 minutes. With my shorties running around. There was no preconceived thought as far as publicity.
3. I have a sense of humor. I did not lose it when I gave birth. I hope to never lose it. If you go back and read previous posts, please keep in mind that I am sarcastic. And can make fun of myself. Oh, and to be clear, all names are pseudonyms. I find it a little strange that is an issue, but ok. Glad we cleared that up.
4. I did not ‘out’ my son. Read the post please before accusing me of things.
5. I did not ‘exploit’ my son. I have a feeling if he’d been in a ninja costume, I wouldn’t have been accused of exploitation. If you see shame in that photo, that is in your perception. Not mine. Nor millions of others. And thousands of parents, maybe millions have pics of their children posted online. It is not exploitation.
6. I did not ruin Boo’s life. This is now woven into my family’s history. This will not be hidden or kept secret. I am proud of him. Just as I am proud of all my children and the Detective. He will hear this story for the rest of his life. And be totally bored with it by the time he’s 8. And if someone brings it up 10 years from now, it will be because a mean parent held onto it for a decade. And that’s a problem in and of itself.
7. I did not stop parenting that day. Boo will be raised to not bully, to be who he is, to be kind, to be able to handle himself in all kinds of situations. He is a strong child. He will be a strong adult.
8. The Detective is alive and kicking. And in the picture. And completely supportive of Boo, his other children, and me. He is a kickass father. And if he’s not working overtime, he’s here at home parenting along with me. And what sort of preconceived notions are out there about single mothers? That freaks me out a bit too.
9. I did not ‘force’ Boo to go into the preschool when he had reservations. I knelt in front of him, asked him if this was what he wanted to do, and when he answered yes, I told him we’d walk in together. And we walked in, hands held, heads high. There was no coercion. I didn’t diminish his worries. I also didn’t blow them out of proportion. When a child gets worried on the way to the doctor’s office, you don’t turn around and go home. You talk about it. You work through it. You parent.
10. I did not ‘use’ my son to push an agenda. I have no agenda. Ok, that is not entirely true, but it looks more like a cluttered family calendar with meetings and book clubs and practices.
11. I do not hate Moms ABC. I do not harbor ill will on them. Those moments should not define their lives, just as their words shouldn’t define Boo’s.
12. I do not hate Christians or Christian schools. My Boo’s teachers are some of the most amazing women I have known. His school director is incredible.
13. I didn’t edit comments, including negative. At first, I was having to moderate comments which took a while. Then I switched to letting them all go through. WordPress uses a spam filter called Akismet. It weeded out ones that may have been spam. I went through and approved all that weren’t obviously spam. So if it was typed, it should be up there somewhere.
14. I haven’t read all the comments. Or the emails. I’m working on it, but it may take a while. Ya’ll had a lot to say. But I’m still, you know, parenting, so I have other things to be doing.
15. I do not accept the analogy of letting Boo wear a costume on Halloween with not having any rules/boundaries. My friend, Clean Freak, has commented to me that I am stricter than a lot of other moms she knows. We use manners. We have schedules. We have timeouts. The Detective and I have rules and boundaries for our family. But we don’t dictate personality. That is not our job.
16. I am disheartened by some of the comments that are calling my son names. That is very small.
17. I am intolerant of bullying and the cycle of bullying. And children learn at home and at school. I don’t want me children to be bullied or to be bullies. I will do what I can in my small corner of the world to stop that cycle when I can.
18. I am not naive. Nor am I stupid, a bad mother, a child abuser, media whore, man-hater, etc. I am a mom. And I am doing the best I can for those I can. You may choose to disagree, but I promise you my children know they are loved and supported. And they know I will stand up for them or stand by them. Whatever they need.
19. As far as I can tell, a lot of the negative has been based on assumptions. People assume I made Boo walk in there. People assume I planned on this going viral. People assume the Detective isn’t around or is embarrassed. People assume a lot of things. And you know what they say about that… However, I haven’t been able to find any emails asking me for clarification. Or to expand upon anything. So please, if you have a question, ask me before you answer for me.
20. And lastly, I am awed and amazed and touched and verklempt that this has all happened. I am almost at a loss for words. ;) Really though I cannot ever express in any sort of eloquent way how much the support has meant to me. It really kept me going these last couple of weeks.
Thank you again.