I don’t like the term “community.” I live in one; it’s very nice, all the houses sorta look the same, and there’s a big burglar/zombie-proof fence that surrounds the whole compound. The term “community” hints at something sterile, planned – detached and subdivided, as the old Rush song goes. Bloggers often speak of community, and I get the meaning, and appreciate it, but it just doesn’t speak to the best aspects of what parent bloggers are, and what they’re capable of.
Case in point: on January 4th, a fire gutted the home of Serge and Monica Bielanko. Serge is the newest addition to Team Dadding, and Monica is a contributor to Babble and MamaPop. These aren’t strangers to me; not only have I read their stuff, I work with them both. And as it is when you put your life up on a screen for the world to read, the Bielankos aren’t strangers to a lot of people. Hearing that horrific news was a gut punch.
When the word got out, people rallied to help, in an effort spearheaded by blogger Katie Granju. In the span of about twelve hours, friends, family, fans, and strangers pooled together close to $10,000 to help Serge and Monica and their family get their lives back in order.
Community? Sure. But you know, there’s a better word. Times like these, I think of all of us parent bloggers as a neighborhood, each of us living in our own unique little house, doing our thing, enjoying the mishmosh of humanity that we found ourselves plunked down next to when we put down roots in this decidedly non-gentrified burg. Think about your street, the folks who live next door to you, or across the way. Maybe you know them well, maybe you don’t. But chances are, if disaster struck, you’d do what you could to give them a hand. They’re your neighbors, after all.
Check out Monica Bielanko’s nod in Babble’s Top 100 Mom Bloggers of 2011!