Who Is This Lady?Jessica Ashley
Independence Day seems like the right time to launch a blog about single parenting, doesn’t it?
A thousand years ago (at least in internet time), I was a writer for Strollerderby. I’d been blogging professionally for some time, but it was the first place that really pushed me. I was working with writers who were quick, whip-smart and hilarious and I felt on fire, even while I was typing furiously to keep up, to maybe out-earn the babysitter.
When I traded in my many freelance gigs for full-time editing, I was sad to say goodbye. Many of the other writers had moved on as well, but I wanted to carry that summer camp feeling with me, like a half-unraveled God’s Eye hanging over my laptop. I had the very good fortune of working with other great writers, people with huge ideas and bigger personalities, and to work in some way with people here in other ways. I loved that.
Life was moving forward, but we were still pen pals with a few inside jokes and campfire songs no one else could possibly know the words to.
And then, in a lovely turn of events, I got the opportunity to return, right here where I started writing when I was married, while I was potty training a small child and working on a desktop (desktop!), before my hair had ever been permanently dyed and I could still justify aspartame. Today, I am a single mama of a second-grader with hair dutifully touched up monthly. I am still an editor and writer, still holding tight to my sass and still feeling that fire.
I am looking around at the people singing “Boom Chicka Boom” and weaving necklaces out of stretchy plastic rainbow-colored rope, and I see more quick, whip-smart, hilarious writers that I am so honored to join. It feels like summer has come around again, and I am the lucky lady with six giant suitcases full of five-inch heels and sequin skirts who gets to bunk up in Babble Voices. If we get close enough, I promise to tell you my super-secret camp name (It’s totally not Princess Peep Toe. Really.)
I’ll be tapping away this time about being a single mama, with my very best field-tested tips for taking good care, feeling fabulous, dating and navigating the tough times. I also have lots of advice to dole out, which is why this baby’s called Sassafrass Says So. Some of it was passed on to me by great ladies, some of it was hard-earned during laughable Match.com moments and tantrums in Trader Joe’s (and some with my kid…ba-dum-dum).
I’d love to hear your stories, too. And opinions! Throw in those loud opinions. And do not forget the stories. Let’s definitely share some crazy stories.
If I’m not there, hang out a minute. Have some bug juice. Fashion a wood-chip name tag. I’m probably just on my way back from archery clinic or the pottery shed and will be with you very soon.
What single parent stuff should we whisper about after lights-out this summer?