I’ve been published enough times to know that it’s a roller coaster sort of event. There’s the peak of learning your piece has been accepted, then the drop as you wait for the publication date, then the sometimes higher, sometimes lower peak of publication day and getting feedback and celebration (usually) and then…it’s done. It always feels like a bit of a let down. And then, yeah, it’s time to do it all again.
I was published on Scary Mommy–a parenting website that gets 10 million page views a month–a couple weeks back. That’s the most eyeballs my work has appeared in front of by far. This article was different, as while I often write about parenting or anti-semitism, this time I wrote about how my sons joke about their privates all the time. The piece was about how it’s my job as a mom to make them knock that off and the approach I took to trying to get them to stop. I wrote it as part of a book I’m writing about being a middle-aged mom.
This time around there were some consequences in my life due to publication.
Four days after my article dropped, I took my youngest, who is going into 4th grade, to an open house of sorts at his school to meet his teacher and drop off school supplies. The joint was brimming with moms and kids. I bumped into a good friend and her friend in the hallway. I don’t know her friend very well, but she turned to me and said, “Oh! You’re the one who wrote…um…(whispers) the crotch piece.”
I laughed so hard I’m not even sure that I confirmed that she was right. She then went on to tell me that her only son isn’t a big crotch talker, which confirms my theory that this mainly happens in multiple-boy households.
Speaking of that, man, have I learned a lot about the boys of Oak Park post-publication. So many of my friends and acquaintances who read my piece have told me about their sons and their behavior. So beware, locker-room-talking boys, we moms are on to you and we have a strategy to make you straighten up and fly right.
Also, I’m seriously debating changing my Twitter bio to “The one who wrote the crotch piece.”
The other bit of fall out is that my youngest has not put his hands down his pants even once since publication! Not once! I pointed this out to him and he said, smirking, “Well, maybe it’s because I never did that in the first place. Your other son was the problem.” That kid is an evil genius–a liar and an evil genius.
My oldest has cut back too. I’ve never had a piece of my writing effect behavior at home. This is great. If the trick to getting my sons to stop fondling themselves was to write about it in a national parenting publication, game on! I better get back to writing this book.