Last week, the Oh So Feisty One told Smartmom that she can write about her anytime she wants. Phew.
Smartmom felt vindicated — and relieved.
This came after weeks of turbulence that began when OSFO and Teen Spirit told Smartmom that they were sick and tired of being the subject of her column.
Naturally, Smartmom wrote about it and her readers weighed in, mostly with nasty rants:
• Some said she was exploiting her children.
• Some said that she was a terrible parent.
• Some said that her kids were going to need years of therapy.
Smartmom knew not to have a nervous breakdown about all this negative criticism — a Herculean effort no doubt. And she tried to be strong — also a difficult proposition.
But she couldn’t help feeling bugged big time. She knew that there were plenty of people out there who didn’t bother to write in because they like the column the way it is.
For instance, why no public comment from Divorce Diva, who felt so bad about the nasty comments on BrooklynPaper.com that she even called to offer sympathy to Smartmom?
Couldn’t she have typed up a nice little note of support on the Web site? Hello?
How about Smartmom’s other friends and neighbors? Quite a few people stopped her on the street or wrote e-mails to tell her that they thought the negativity was over the top and a tad ridiculous.
But how many of them took the time to type in a few words of affirmation to The Brooklyn Paper?
Not one as far as she knows (though she is grateful for the people who had positive things to say).
Most of all, she felt bad about OSFO and Teen Spirit’s reservations. Who wouldn’t?
While she knew in her heart of hearts that she wasn’t doing anything wrong, if they really wanted to be left alone she would have to leave them alone.
This caused much writerly agitation. What was Smartmom going to write about?
Sure, Smartmom considered inventing a new family. She even came up with their names: Zebulon, Jasper and Phoebe.
But that went nowhere.
Sure, she knew she could still write about Hepcat, Diaper Diva, Divorce Diva, Mrs. Cleavage, Mrs. Kravitz, Best and Oldest and Gluten Free, who have given her permission to write about them and seem to enjoy it (Smartmom hopes).
But they’re grown-ups and this is a parenting column.
Smartmom even got defensive (so what else is new?). She lashed out at her readers and asked them to imagine a gag order on all kidtalk in Park Slope. Try not saying even one word about your little darlings, she wrote nastily.
But then something happened.
OSFO changed her mind and she went public on The Brooklyn Paper Web site. OSFO speaks.
She didn’t tell Smartmom at first. But then she wanted Smartmom to know that she was going to bat for her mom — and that she was annoyed at what people were saying. And no surprise, she was bold and feisty about it:
“Get your own problems,” OSFO wrote. “I gave her permission to right (sic) about me!!!! Then I took it away. Now I gave it back!!!!! Take that, suckers!”
Then OSFO went to town in her inimitable prose.
“The only problem with this column is the readers!!!!!!!!!”
Later she wrote: “Don’t like it, don’t read it.”
And: “You’re going to need years of therapy.”
Smartmom really loved that one. Later, in response to someone who questioned Smartmom’s use of the English language, OSFO wrote:
“This is the language of a kind, loving, proud person … a language u wouldn’t understand!!!!!
That comment stopped Smartmom short. She lost her breath. It brought small, salty tears to her eyes.
When she saw it, she and OSFO were sitting in the dining room eating cinnamon toast. She felt a warm wave of mother love.
“Do you want some more cinnamon toast?” she asked and immediately popped two more pieces of white bread into the toaster.
Later, a wise reader wrote in to say,
“Well, if everyone gets to mouth off, it’s only fair that the subject matter (OSFO) get in her two cents as well. In fact, she’s one of the few people who have actually addressed the topic — ‘Is it OK to write about the kids?’ — instead of venting irrelevant blahblah.”
To which OSFO wrote: “FYI!!!!!!! I love the name OSFO.”
Smartmom beamed with pride.
Not just because OSFO defended her mom and loved her moniker.
Not just because OSFO is a confident and secure young woman who feels comfortable in her own skin.
Not just because OSFO is one awesome person.
Smartmom beamed because she was proud to be her mom. And that made her all tingly inside.
©2009 Community News Group
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