* Thanks everyone!

You guys aren't making this easy for me!

I appreciate your compliments and well-wishes, and I know I'm deviating from the plan already by posting this, but I wanted to make my gratitude more visible than a comment. You guys are wonderful.

Anonymous particularly moved me, because my hope all along was that I might reach out to another parent with similar struggles.

It's not easy for me to quit because I really love doing this. I'm constantly composing blog posts in my head. I have tons of stuff I want to write about! But time - that cursed, finite refugee - always escapes me. There have been many amusing, brilliant, and informative posts left unwritten because I never found the time. There were just as many tasks and activities neglected because I stole some time to blog instead.

I wavered the longest over whether I should just cut back on posting to maybe just a monthly update or something, but I finally talked myself out of it. I know myself too well, and as long as this site still has a pulse I will post compulsively, good intentions be damned. And I really do need to stop, because I'm drowning in thingstodo that just aren't getting done. I can't have it all, it seems. Because there's no money in blogging, ya know? And money is evil, but life's tough without it.

I once wrote (in a letter to a stranger) that if I'm ever rich, it will be time that is stuffed in my pockets and under my mattress. I dream of having whole hours, days even, to call my own. I marvel at how people can possibly suffer from boredom in a world spiralling through infinity. It's a fool's affliction, boredom.

Speaking of boredom, next week is TV Turnoff Week. Kill your TV. May it stay dead forever. It's the ruin of our culture. If there's one thing I hope to instill in my children, it's that television rots your soul. Please, turn it off. I'm begging you.

But I digress, as is my habit. I'm off to build my little internet empire. I'm not going to delete this blog, because it's eternally free. So you can visit anytime you like and wax nostalgic over young Hercules. And please do drop in on my flickr photostream, particularly my Rio set, for the latest snapshots.

Thanks for reading! I will miss you!

* Fond Farewell

After much resistance, indecision, and procrastination, I have finally decided that it is time for me to abandon this blog. As much as I enjoy sharing my tales of Hercules with my little audience, it's time for me to focus my energies elsewhere.

It's just that time is my most scarce resource, and I've been re-examining how I use my time lately and I've been forced to admit that blogging simply isn't a productive use of my precious time. Blogging is not the sort of writing that I aspire to produce. It doesn't propel me closer to any of my goals. It's a handy way to update my friends and family of Herc's latest antics, indeed, but it's making me lazy when it comes to making real live phone calls and that's no good.

I also realized that a large part of blogging involves participation in a community. Bloggers are expected to start dialogues and converse with other bloggers who share your interests. So blogging isn't just about writing blog posts - you also have to read other blogs and comment on other people's posts, and hopefully they will reciprocate. At least that's what you do if you want your audience to expand beyond your friends and family. That's the part I've had the hardest time with. For a while I struggled with my desire to feel included. I courted mommy bloggers, and then feminist bloggers, but I really didn't expand my audience much in either community. To be fair, my efforts weren't very diligent because DAMN there are a bazillion blogs out there and that's a lot of reading and commenting! Lately I've started to feel like I've become caught up in a juvenile popularity contest and that's not at all the sort of dynamic I want to waste my energy on. The idea of a blogging community sounds nice, but in MY reality it has seemed more like a big echo chamber and I'm basically uninspired by it. Which in no way is intended to diminish other bloggers out there. This is just my personal perception.

I want to spend more time getting involved locally in my community. I want a community that involves personal interaction, and it's something I seriously need to work at and not only is blogging not helping me to achieve that, it's actually impeding me. So bon voyage, blogosphere. I hardly knew ye!

I am, however, keeping my photoblog. That is quicker, simpler, and frankly more fun. I think it has a lot do with the fact that photography has become my substitute for writing. Writing is a solitary, reclusive activity and it's probably not something I'm going to be able to pursue seriously until Hercules is grown and my life has achieved the balance I strive for. Photography, however, is portable and even social. My camera goes with me everywhere, and it's just as fun snapping kid pics as shooting street photography or still lifes(lives?). I really hope to do more portraiture, which goes hand in hand with my desire to overcome my shy nature and connect with people I don't know. So yes, haphazardous stays. And my flickr photostream will surely feature all my favorite Hercules shots as well. Maybe someday the flickr fairy will buy me a pro account, even!

So thanks to my faithful readers out there, you've all been wonderfully supportive of Hercules and I throughout our trials and tribulations. I really have enjoyed blogging, which is why it's taken me so long to make this decision. And I've truly enjoyed reading other blogs, too. I've learned a thing or two from other women out there and I hope they keep up the great work.

Hasta luego!

Renee May

* Brouhaha

Sorry about the disappearing act, it's just that work's been busy lately and blogging got put on the backburner. Hercules had an eventful week, too - two fights which ended with an in-school suspension yesterday.

Both fights started the same - it was bathroom time for the whole class and Herc's nemesis, we'll call him Perseus, thought it was top sport to leap out from behind the door just as Hercules was passing by and scare the crap out of him. Let it be known that young Hercules has no tolerance for such games and he promptly slapped/kicked (depending on which incident you're referring to) Perseus to show him just how he felt about it. Young Perseus, being of the same temperment, returned the gesture and before you could say "don't even think about it" it was an all-out brawl.

Apparently, Perseus thought the first fight was so much fun that he played the same trick two days later (they had a sub both days, incidentally, which was a key factor as well). Or maybe he thought that Hercules wouldn't be so rash the second time around and temper his reaction but he was badly mistaken. In fact, the second fight ended with the two of them trying to shove each other into one of the sinks.

Clearly our young warrior needs to get a sense of humor. The irony is, of course, that Hercules loves to scare the crap of passersby in much the same manner. This is not the only example of his hypocrisy. Just last weekend he was having a grand ol' time taunting his friends and stepbrothers with one of those dumb songs that involve marriage and baby carriages. But when the taunts were turned back on him, woe to the songsters! I spotted him just in time with a fistful of sticks and stones (ha!) ready to hurl at the offending parties. Good grief!

So we've been having a lot of discussions about better ways to handle these situations and I'm sure we're not done with it. Because Hercules has always been great at regurgitating the right answers, proper procedures, and other mantras of social norms. But in the heat of the moment all his well-rehearsed lines are abandoned in favor of action.

This week I've learned that meds are obviously not fool-proof. But that's okay, because I've always been relieved that the meds haven't deprogrammed Hercules and turned him into some unrecognizable robot child.

The other good news is that while emailing the principal and the vice principal concerning these incidents, they both were very kind and expressed a lot of appreciation for Hercules' progress overall, despite these minor setbacks. The principal in particular had a lot of nice things to say about him, and that's exactly what parents like me need to hear. Yes, your son had a hard day today but that doesn't make him a hopeless case or mean that he's destined for a life of crime. This may seem obvious to some people but anyone whose kid ever got pinned as a Problem Child knows exactly what I'm talking about, because some people really know how to make you feel like shit, when you're already feeling pretty damn shitty in the first place. So I'm thankful for even the smallest kindness at times like these.

And yeah, I know I'm supposed to write about my neighborhood some more and I will, but I still need to organize my thoughts on that one. And then find the time to write it all down - that's the catch, see. Maybe if Hercules can stay out of trouble for a few days, I'll have something for you next week.