Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Rice Daddies Take Manhattan
So, to say things have been slow around here over the last month is a bit of an understatement—to those of you who both noticed and cared, thank you! [That means you, PeachBoy!] For my part, our kitchen remodel [which is finally done, BTW, and looks awesome] and our 5-places-in-two-weeks Back East Tour [about which there will be more forthcoming on d.i.s.l.] have conspired to keep my writing down to a handful of comments on other blogs. That, and the fact that The Pumpkin, at 19 months, is very much a little kid now, instead of a baby, and has entered her "mandatory audience participation" (read: Daddy, play with me! no computer! NOW!) phase of toddlerhood. [More on that, too, soon, I promise.]
But anyway, one highlight of our Northeast trip was getting to break down the blogosphere's fourth wall and meet up with parentbloggers I had previously known only virtually. In Boston the d.i.s.l. familia got to introduce Eliaday of the Kimchi Mamas to some potential playmates for Tae in their new hood, and then in D.C. (yes, we went everywhere), Lumpyhead's Mom took us on a tour of the Capitol before our combined families terrorized the childless patrons of a really good, really nice, really expensive restaurant (which, surprisingly, had high chairs for both The Pumpkin and Lumpyhead, not that our kid stayed in hers much)—check out LM's post for some cool pix and her always funny take on the visit.
There's been a lot of writing lately in the blogosphere, especially the parentblogosphere, about "why we blog." Stuck in a physical place where I—as a lefty/progressive, early-30s Asian American SAHD—am most definitely out of place, blogging has opened up whole new possibilities for community and exchange that would otherwise not be possible. Since I've been reading parentblogs, it's amazing to find how many have turned out to be written by Asian Americans (or at least parents of Asian Americans), even if traditional "identity" issues aren't on the forefront of the writers' minds every day, or at all. Co-founding Rice Daddies, purposely organizing a group dad blog around a shared panethnic identity, was an amazing opportunity to connect with people, around issues and experiences we all care about, in ways that real life never would have afforded otherwise.
All of which is a roundabout way of getting at this: a highlight among highlights on our recent vacation was the opportunity to meet up with, chat with, and dine with two of my fellow Rice Daddies and their families—the inestimable MetroDad and his daughter Peanut, and the prolific Instant Yang, with his wife, Heather, and son, Hudson. La dra., The Pumpkin, our good college friend who was hosting us in CT, and I met up with the gang at a low-key, kid-friendly TriBeCa cafe (MD's recommendation), and, as they say, a good time was had by all. Peanut and Pumpkin, as they are only a month apart, proceeded to make friends by trying to take each other's stuff and give each other violent hugs. Joined by the elder Hudson, the Rice Kiddies used the mostly empty restaurant as their own private dancefloor, in between sharing (read: stealing) each other's snacks. The adults had a great time hanging out, talking about kids, writing, life, etc., and eating some good food. Only through blogging could I have been sitting there, enjoying a meal with the guy whose own blog inspired me to start mine, and getting writing advice from the guy whose magazine was required reading during my college days as a budding diversity activist, while our wives chatted and our toddlers played nearby. In a vacation full of good days, that was definitely one of them. I am happy and proud to be in the company in which I find myself, both here on Rice Daddies and in the larger de facto "Asian American parent blogosphere" that we are creating anew each day we write.