So, usually on my blogaversary, I do some reflecting on the past years and run a big giveaway to celebrate (see here and here if you’re interested in my thoughts on this blogging journey). This year, however, I’m changing it up and marking the occasion by introducing a couple of new features.
The first is a new section called the T(w)een Scene. I’m often asked what I’ll do as my children get older — will I continue blogging? The answer (at this point, anyway): YES. I do get the question, though. Owen is now in middle school, busier with more homework and activities and friends, and more independent with firmer ideas about how he’d like to spend his time. That said, he’s still a kid, and we still spend time together exploring and enjoying DC. It’s actually even more important to me now that we make a point of carving out that time. While I want my children to find their own footing and create their own paths as they grow, their young minds and hearts need guidance and support along the way. Plus, I think they are super cool people and truly dig hanging out with them (and I think/hope they still like hanging out with me).
So, occasionally, I’ll be sharing adventures that are both especially appropriate for and appealing to older kids in this new section of the blog. It’s already populated with some links to past experiences that t(w)een ages, in particular, would enjoy. And it won’t just be about our adventures; I’ll also include information about upcoming programs, exhibits, and other ideas relevant to that group. They are the future, and all of these experiences, hopefully, will help shape them to make it a great one.
And that (sort of) leads me to the next new feature of KFDC: A stronger voice. The Parkland tragedy and the resulting movement to end gun violence started by teenage kids has made me rethink how I approach my blog. I try not to be controversial or divisive, because as I said here, when it comes to KFDC, we’re all here as parents — who love our kids, have their best interests in mind, and understand that they are the future. But that’s also why I do want to start speaking out, or at least bring attention to issues that affect our kids and the future.
I grew up in Broward County, Florida. The news of the Parkland shootings broke my heart. When I saw the list of victims, I recognized a last name and later learned he was, indeed, a child of a family I knew back then. I have to acknowledge that the connection makes this latest (isn’t it crazy we can refer to it this way?) mass shooting hit me in a different way — it was a place I associated with a nice, safe childhood. However, every. single. one. of these horrific, senseless acts of violence has rocked me to my core. I cry, lose sleep, incessantly follow news about them, discuss them endlessly with friends. But I, admittedly, haven’t really done anything to make a difference.
I want to change this, and I plan to use KidFriendly DC to do so. After seeing the effect the student survivors of Parkland have had in a matter of days, I feel compelled to do my part, too. Is this my responsibility as a blogger? Maybe not, but I feel that it is as a parent, a member of the community, and as a compassionate human being. It’s not just about responsibility, though…it’s an opportunity. My blog reaches thousands and thousands of readers, and I have a chance to, at the very least, disseminate information to help forward this cause and keep the conversation going beyond the few-week frenzy that has been my norm. (*I welcome ideas for more ways to do this!)
Here are some links to start, many of which I’ve shared already, but important enough to share again:
And another one by Pia Guerra/The Nib to galvanize…
Whew! If you’ve stuck with me thus far, THANK YOU! And I mean that about both this post and my blog. I’m aware that this foray into what some consider a controversial subject may result in the loss of readers, but I can live with that. What I would regret is not seizing this opportunity. It may not make me complicit, but it would make me complacent. That, I can’t live with anymore.