I’ve spent a solid four and a half years writing my weekly column Kids in the City for the Staten Island Advance. In fact, I’ve worked through many a weekend, missed family events (much to their chagrin and incredulity when I revealed the sum I was making for said column) and pulled all-nighters to make sure I didn’t dissappoint my editor, and that Page C3 of the Relationships section bore my content.
When I came up with the idea in April 2007, I literally had to beg the staff at the Advance to take a chance on me. I hadn’t writtten full time for a magazine or newspaper in several years, rather, the time between my last full time job was spent knee deep in baby poop and bottles, post partum depression and the sense that I was very much alone in this motherhood bubble. And as I sat in the managing editor’s office fresh with ideas, she looked me square in the eye and said, “Do you know what kind of commitment this is? You need to write a 1,000 word column every week, regardless of what else is happening in your life. We’re a newspaper and we don’t stop printing, so unless you can guarantee that you’ll be able to deliver and keep our readers engaged and entertained, well we don’t know if we can take a chance on you.”
I sat there, sweating like a sweet little piglet, unsure if, at that precise moment in time, I could commit to anything longer than sitting through an entire epsiode of Dora the Explorer eight times, but I agreed and took on the challenge and responsibility with every bit of pride and intergrity I could muster.
Over the course of writing over 200 columns, I came to understand this Island of ours, and not those caricatures that Staten Island has been so poorly depicted as in the media – but rather I came to love and appreciate the real mom and pop shop owners, who’ve served our community, the tireless cultural activitists, environmental enthusiasts and of course our rich and historied neighborhoods and the people who inhabit them.
Every week I’ve had the opportunity to share a window into my life and the growing pains of raising kids, my insecurities about being a mother, my small triumphs and yes, even the recent passing of my dad, who, collected EVERY SINGLE ONE of my columns in a white binder, and never failed to tell me how much he enjoyed my writing.
This week is actually the last Staten Island Advance column I’ll be writing For Kids in the City and will instead be focusing my energies on this site www.thestatenislandfamily.com and looking forward to bringing Kids in the City here in a new form. I hope you’ll continue to join me here and read all about my adventures in motherhood, and the joys of living in this great city of ours where I get to call Staten Island home!