I started blogging in 2004 when Moses was my classmate and I wrote a wee dinosaur to school. A Mushroom Print – for those not in the know – is a dick-smack, and that was precisely what my co-blogger Pashmina and I fully intended our blog to be. A verbal dick-smack.

It was.

My first post was something about a) pubic hair or 2) my vagina, something I know because that was generally what we wrote about. You take two youngish-twenty-somethings and you put them together, and you’d expect to hear about how we were trying to be Carrie Bradshaw or something.

Not so, Little Grasshopper, not so. We deliberately wrote about things no hot young thang would, in her right mind, put out there.

Some of the stuff has made it’s way over here, the rest was deleted when I reinvented Mushroom Printing as a snarky group blog for us Pranksters.

In 2007, I started Mommy Wants Vodka*, my less-snarky site. It was here that I wrote my heart out. Turns out, those who want to read about your vagina may NOT want to read about your colicky baby. The name was a deliberate poke at the other mom blogs who seemed to exist in a dream world, where everything was perfect all the time.

Because I am many things, Pranksters, but I am most decidedly NOT perfect. None of us are. Okay, maybe you are. But I’m sure as shit not.

It took me ages to write about the really hard shit. Sure, my kid was colicky and yeah, I never slept, but the first post I recall writing about something a) deep or 2) meaningful was when I wrote about how much I hated Mother’s Day. I wrote my heart out.

It was probably not good, but it was real and it was mine. Which is the only thing I’d tell anyone who “wants to increase their blog traffic.” Write honestly and from the heart and for god’s sake, do it in your own way.

ANYWAY. I digress.

Rather than eschew me for being unfunny that day, I had a number of people who spoke up and said, “you know what? ME TOO. Here’s why:” and they told their stories.

That was the moment that I realized we all had stories.

When Stef died, I wrote about my grief, albeit badly. I’ve never been properly able to write about her, although not for lack of trying. I’ve deleted thousands of words because they weren’t enough.

But once again, my Pranksters spoke up and told me their stories. In comments, in emails, in other posts, I read about how you, too, had lost someone you loved and how it changed you. Your stories made me laugh, they made me cry, and they sparked an idea in the back of my very tiny head.

Then my daughter was born, and she was so, so ill. You’ve all prayed with me, you’ve watched her grow from a very sick girl to Amelia, Princess of the Motherfucking Bells. You’ve told me your stories in emails, blog posts, comments and phone calls. I have an email folder specifically for your stories, did you know that? I read them sometimes and am reminded of how lucky I truly am.

Because I know you all. My Pranksters, I am so fucking lucky to know you.

I launched Band Back Together in September, a place that I envisioned like a library of stories, complete with resources to accompany them. I knew in time, we could fill all those empty shelves and we have. And more.

Yesterday, National CASA posted about Band Back Together. If you don’t know CASA, you should.

I was reminded of the immense power we have. Blogging has turned from a “hobby” into something that means something. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: our words have power. The power to connect, the power to unify, the power to change.

Alone, we may be small blogs, letting others into our lives, glimpse by glimpse, but when we unite, we have the power to change. I’ve learned so much from you, my Pranksters. Stories I’d never have been told on the street, things no one else may know about you, but things I do. Because you were brave enough to sit down in front of a computer screen and type out your words.

That is an act of bravery, you know. Every time you sit down in front of a computer and type out your words, that is brave. No. Let’s try that again, this time for Stef: it’s MOTHERFUCKING brave.

So I, once again, invite you into Band Back Together, a site I run, but a site that is owned by many, to share your stories, let others into your world and tell your truth. To commit an act of bravery.

If we can unite, tell the world we exist, put our stories together and demand change, we can achieve it. That’s not a question.

I look forward to your stories.

Each and every one of them.

And I hope that we can work with other organizations, like CASA**, to show the world that we are unafraid, that our stories matter, that we matter.

Because we do. From the biggest blogger to the person who’s never written a single word, we all matter.

So let’s act like it.

*The original concept was “Mommy Wants Bourbon” but it didn’t roll off the tongue the same way “Mommy Wants Vodka” does.

**if you work with a site like CASA or another blog doing Good in the blog world, we’d love to work with you on The Band. Email me at becky (dot) harks (at) gmail.com and we’ll chat.

***or, if you’d like to work behind the scenes with us at The Band, we’d also love you to do so. Email me. We’ll chatty-chat.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

20 Responses to From Snarkness To Light

  • ewokmama
    Twitter: ewokmama
    says:

    Fucking sweet yo!

  • Amanda says:

    When I received my case assignment as a CASA I was outraged. I read my child’s file and cried myself to sleep that night. I cried for all of her pain and all of the hurt she’d be forced to feel for the REST of her life because of a few selfish pricks. That’s why I wrote on The Band’s website. I couldn’t really talk to anyone in my life without them understanding why I had such a FIRE underneath me. Because my case child’s story MATTERS. After the National CASA Organization re posted my posting, and after YOU re posted it, it only reaffirmed what I’ve done thus far. And so many CASA’s have a hard time dealing with the pain of their child. (By the way it’s a volunteer position and so many CASA’s have a HARD time dealing with their own jobs and lives as well) Directing them to The Band is going to be a GREAT resource. Thank you for giving a home to people who feel like they don’t have one sometimes. Especially me. :-)

  • Alida L says:

    You are awesome. I have tried several times to write something to you to express how much reading your blog has helped me but nothing comes out right. So thank you. From a deeply-depressed grieving person who is clawing her way out. Thank you.

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    Aunt Becky, you are beautiful. Through all the quirky chain-saw-murdering photos, Through all the snark, through all of the raging at life’s unfairnesses, I see your beauty. And through knowing you (even if it is just over teh internetz) I have started learning to see the beauty in myself too.
    So thank you.
    No, for Stef, for you, for me, for all the Pranksters and all the Bandmembers
    MOTHERFUCKING thank you!

  • Ryan says:

    AB, you are correct about the BRAVERY part. It takes a huge leap of faith to put out there what you have poured out from your heart and soul. But it has been such a rewarding experience for me… seeing where our posts get read, and who our words touch.. I just signed up on “Band Back Together” AND just submitted a post!! just call me Braveheart !.
    Keeping doing what you do AB, I read every post!

  • Jessica says:

    Aunt Becky, I haven’t had anything truly serious or dramatic happen in my life. But when I am feeling low or having a hard time dealing with something. I think of the words EYE OF THE MOTHERFUCKING TIGER and it helps me stand a little taller and fight and little harder. So, thank you.
    Jess

  • Amber says:

    I love the Band…I’ve got another story I need to write, but every time I try, I cry.

  • Carly Ann says:

    I love reading your blog because, while I haven’t had the same experiences as you, it is so nice to be able to read about real things in peoples’ lives, not just the every day bull shit that people think other people want to hear.

  • Tom
    Twitter: DiatribesAndOs
    says:

    AB,

    I love you.

    Tom

  • Christina says:

    Right on Aunt Becky!!!! I’m newish to your blog but fell in love at first sight. Looking at Band back Together was a bit more difficult for me to look at, lots of triggers in there. BUT I looked and was so glad I did! The community that has already formed is amazing and so supportive! Thank you for letting us all have a place for our voice and story. Once I build my bravery up a bit more I will write my story too….

  • MamaRobinJ says:

    Yes. Exactly. That’s why I write all the totally crappy, personal parts of my story on my blog. Because day after day I get notes from people saying thank you and who feel less alone because I admitted to something they thought no one else felt.

    And that’s why I’m With The Band.

    Awesome post. Proud to know you.

  • You are incredible and doing incredible things for others. Thank you so very much.

  • Tracie
    Twitter: fromtracie
    says:

    When I read that feature at National CASA’s blog yesterday, I cried.

    Writing those words and telling our stories IS brave.

    Thank you for all you have done with BB2G, and for letting me be a part of it. I’m just so honored.

  • Pingback: Stuff I Starred Saturday – Sheer Awesome Even Sans Pharms « LucidLotusLife

  • You’re a mother fucking gangsta.

  • Triplezmom
    Twitter: triplezmom
    says:

    Have I said thank you for Band Back Together lately? Because, seriously, thank you for creating such an amazing place on the interwebs. You rock, AB. And I remember back in 2007 when I first tiptoed into the blogging world, I was so happy when I found Mommy Wants Vodka. Your mere existence gave me the confidence to blog my own snarky thoughts. So thank you.

  • Allie says:

    AB, I love you as much as ever, but…I really am having a hard time with your new font. :/
    Granted, my “blogtime” is after the kiddos are asleep and I’ve had a glass (ok, maybe a few) of my special therapy, but still, I find it a little difficult to get through. Anyway, keep up the good work! Xo

  • ChiMomWriter
    Twitter: chimomwriter
    says:

    You are fucking awesome.

    That is all.

  • Angie says:

    Aunt Becky I love your sites because you’re more than just funny. You’re real. That is what keeps me reading your posts. Even when I am unsure about what I am writing, I can come here and see that you’re brave enough to put it all out there for the world to read.

  • leanne says:

    You inspire me. You’re one helluva… well, you know what you are. Love you.

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