I’m So Glad I Asked

My birthday has come and gone, and with it an amazing thing:

Help a Mother Out has collected 1,000,000 diapers to serve families who can’t afford them since May 2009.  We made it!  With your help.

Right now my living room looks like this:

Many of these boxes of diapers were sent to me by you:  my family, friends, colleagues, and readers.  On behalf of the people I know they will serve, I thank you.

I spent part of my actual birthday in Ojai, California, just an hour northeast of where I live.  It was for the Creative Alliance ’12 retreat, a gathering of 45 women with creative goals, dreams, and ongoing pursuits, most of them focused online.  We had over 2 days of small group conversations, mini-lessons in social media technology, larger group gatherings, meals, hijinks, and experiences in a glorious setting.  On the last night of the event we had a special session of Listen To Your Mother, in which women read their writings aloud to an audience.  On this night, the theme was “Say It!” and readers were encouraged to speak their truths.  Part of the Listen To Your Mother Mission is to raise money to support women in the cities in which the show is performed.  For the Creative Alliance night, Help a Mother Out was the beneficiary of the generosity of these women.  We collected just over $500.

And then this happened:

I came home today to find my front door barricaded by diapers.  Yes, that is what was inside those boxes, despite the size and shape that makes one think they contained small children, or perhaps animals.

I managed to get them inside, of course.  Anybody need some boxes?

Anyway, I was one of the readers at the Say It! Salon that night at Creative Alliance.  It was cathartic and freeing and validating and all the things that I thought it would be when I tried to do it at BlogHer 12 this year, but my named never got picked.  I had an incredible time all around, and came home with resolve that what I am planning is the right thing to do for me right now.  I’ll tell you more about that later but it’s important to know that I am continuing this service for Help a Mother Out as much as I can.  An onslaught of diaper deliveries has renewed my faith in people, and reminded me that no, I can’t do everything, but I can do something.  And I’m so grateful to you and to CA12 for making that happen.

Just for fun, here is a slideshow of pictures I took at CA12.  I can’t get more eloquent about that experience right now because our washing machine broke this week and Stewart, God bless him, finally managed to fix it after we received a replacement part in the mail, and now I am buried under laundry.  I plan to spend the next ____ hours folding clothes and catching up on Downton Abbey.  I’m going to send you to my friend Florinda’s blog, where she sums up very nicely what it was like to be at Creative Alliance this year, and she links to other people’s posts about it (including ShePosts which is where I contributed my immediate reaction) in one tidy little place.

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