The highlight of my week this week?
It had been planned for over a month. I dropped the kids off at my neighbor's house (who is a saint for taking both of them). I drove downtown BY MYSELF. I arrived early and walked around the block a few times, watching the people in suits and feeling a knee jerk gratification that I wasn't one of them.
Then I went to the venue - Potenza. I had looked up the menu ahead of time, trying to find something to fit within my Weight Watchers diet (which expires tomorrow, hooray!). I decided on a salad, and upon entering the restaurant and catching a lovely aroma of garlic, decided the hell with it. I would order what I wanted.
So how did I end up at this nice venue, sans children, on a Thursday afternoon?
It all started with Valerie Young, who writes a blog for the National Association of Mothers' Centers. I have been in touch with Valerie for a few months now, after she found my blog. She is passionate about women's rights, she is intelligent, and she has provided some much needed personal advice to me. She was organizing a lunch for local women bloggers and columnists, and invited me along.
Amongst the cast of characters? Valerie (mentioned above); Janice D'Arcy, who writes the Washington Post blog, On Parenting; Petula Dvorak, who is a regular columnist for the Washington Post (as an avid reader of her column, I have to admit I was a bit starstruck); Monica Sakala who writes The Wired Momma and is a parenting contributor to The Huffington Post DC; Alison Stevens who writes the MomAgenda blog for Women's ENews; and then me.
Given the presence listed above, you may be wondering where I fit in. I was wondering that myself.
These women are smart. Articulate. Involved. Passionate. Amazing writers. They actually get paid for what they do. And I'm not putting myself down by any means, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated. I'm just a boring former lawyer who started a little blog with a little following.
But, I do have a voice. And that's something.
And that's what these women have too. The lunch conversation vacillated between the light and the serious. We talked about spray tans (guilty), sex talks with kids, dental procedures, and preschools. But we also talked about politics, about women's rights, about the notion of a government childcare benefit, about paid parental leave, about social security credits for caregivers. About real things and real ideas and what the future could hold.
I felt so lucky to be a part of that conversation, with such an amazingly talented group of women.
I don't really know why I started this blog. I think at first I wanted to reach out. I wanted to connect with other people and know I wasn't alone. I didn't really expect much out of it. Maybe some extra spending money, if I was lucky.
But what I have lacked in financial reward has been made up and then some by the people I have met through this crazy internet discourse. Some of it is virtual, and our relationships consist of emails, and the exchange of comments on each other's blogs. Others have developed into true friendships, and a monthly night out.
And then there was this lunch. And there never would have been a spot for me at that table, deserved or not, if I hadn't claimed this little piece of the internet.
Who knows what the future holds for me?