Thank you for being here at the birth of this blog. It is amazing that SocraticMama has been live only since October 21st and there is already a strong subscriber base. On the first day, when Dr. Jerry Coyne announced I had begun this site there were over 3.000 views! wasn’t ready for that kind of response I have so much to learn- but it shows a clear need for a community to serve secular parents. By necessity, I’ve spent much of these first weeks learning the WordPress software, working out the bugs, setting up shop, and trying to monitor “Mason Crumpacker Madness” on the Internet (just Google her name and you’ll see why).
Frankly, I’ve had my ups and downs this past month- but mostly ups. My husband and I were rather nervous allowing Mason to talk to the Dallas Morning News because we were unsure of what the public response would be. You see, we’ve worked very hard as a team to grow a successful medical practice and we were afraid that Mason’s candid interview might cause our patients to blot. My husband specializes in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and has consistently been named as one of the “Super Doctors” in Texas. So, as you can imagine, we had a lot to lose and our patient population is on the older end of the spectrum.
I am pleased to announce that all is well and proceeding as usual. In fact, I can’t begin to number how many well-wishes and “thank yous” we have received since our chat with Christopher Hitchens, including many from our own circle of patients and acquaintances. Turns out our “old folks” are not as convinced about the existence of God as we assumed. LIkewise, prior to Mason’s sudden notoriety we had simply been silent about our “non-churchiness” to our friends and neighbors. Now it is like we are a magnet for agnostic confessions! People are so relieved to know that we aren’t secretly judging them, and we have been given an opportunity to finally be honest about our own doubts. It’s like we have a whole new community. Luckily, all It took was a little girl to say that “The Emperor has no clothes” to get the grow-ups to open up and begin talking.
SocraticMama is in its infancy. I hope you will see several exciting new developments in the next month. I have two wonderful friends who are simply brilliant graphic artists, Daisy Cheng-Milano and her husband Todd, working on creating us a special web design (You can see a small sample of their work at: Snaplink.org). They have offered to do the redesign for free, but have asked that we support them in their efforts to establish a Camp Quest in New England close to where they live. So I have contacted Dale McGowan at the Foundation Beyond Belief he is behind us.
So what are you waiting for? You are here because you need some inspiration and support. The forums are up and off to a great start, but there are so many of you just sitting on the edge of the swimming pool waiting for an invitation to get wet. Jump on in! You’ve found your safe place- we want you here. There are many excellent secular parenting blogs already on the Internet, but what makes SocraticMama different is that it is designed to be interactive. It depends on your participation. Make a comment (I’ll admit it is a little hard to see the tiny “comments” link in ice-blue at the bottom of every post. But now you see it, right?). Visit a forum and join a group. Yes, they want your input, it’s ok! Or you can forward me suggestions for posts; I am always looking for fresh ideas.
Finally, I’ll start musing a bit everyday on parenting issues. I’ll tell stories, propose solutions, and give you a hand up. So, here I go with my first golden nugget of wisdom…
What is the first step to raising a child who loves books? Well, my friends, you’re going to need a library card. Today is Saturday- you have all weekend to apply for a library card or find your lost one. If you prefer bookstores that is nice, but very expensive. Pop-out around the corner and get yourself a free public library card with access to thousands of books. Note: kids love to go to the library. It is one place where you as a parent on a budget can say “yes, you can have that.” If you live in the United States or Canada you may not realize how lucky you are to have a public library system. Today, go and take advantage of it.
I would love to hear your library stories. Please leave me a comment. If you live in a country without a public library system I would be interested in your comments as well. Thank you, here’s to a beautiful beginning!