Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Don't Judge a Book by it's Cover. Or a Blog by What it Shares.

Isla was born with severe hip dysplasia.  It's technically a 'birth defect', and for the first four months of her life she wore a brace, twenty-four hours a day.  We called her our "little froggy" and all the adorable 0-4 month baby clothes we were gifted went unworn.  Needless to say, her first bath was a long time coming.  Anyway, when we were pregnant we were *this* close to delivering our baby in Grenada.  After some discussion and advice from trusted local friends, we decided to come home to Chicago.   We'll never know what Isla's birth story would have been if we had chose differently, but I do know that if her hip dysplasia had gone undiagnosed, the repercussions down the line could have been awful.  It was a very good thing to be stateside and in a city where we could go to weekly appointments with a reputable pediatric orthopedic surgeon.  I didn't mention any of this on the blog because it wasn't really relevant.  And I swore this wouldn't be a baby blog (which, let's face it, it inevitably will be from time to time).

What does this have to do with anything, you ask?  Well, when I wrote my post on essential oils and my little attempts to become 'greener' - one Facebook follower mentioned that all my flights back to Chicago negated any amount of 'green' I claimed (which, if you read the post, I didn't).  Jet fuel, greenhouse gasses blah blah blah.  Unfortunately, an unpleasant side effect of having a popular blog is the fact that every now and then I am judged, misinterpreted, attacked, scrutinized, and/or on the receiving end of others' insecurities.  As they say: you win some, you lose some.  I put myself out there and not everyone is smelling what I am stepping in.  Sometimes I laugh, sometimes it stings, and almost always I am shocked at the assumptions people make.  So I am here to remind you that before you judge, perhaps you should know that what I write on this blog is not always the whole story.  Believe it or not, I actually keep some things to myself and while you might think you have all the information, you don't.  I know I don't need to explain myself or my choices, but this visit home was an important one to track Isla's hip development.  She got her third x-ray in eight months two days ago and, I'm happy to report, we've been given the all-clear.  Her hips are finally in the 'normal' range and we don't need to come back for a follow-up until she is two.  Phew.

So... while it might seem we fly willy-nilly to and from Chicago, it's not just to get my Dunkin Donut coffee fix and hit up the big box stores.  Sorry ozone layer, I hope you'll accept my apology, but my daughter is worth far more than a carbon offset.

32 comments:

Courtney said...

Sorry to hear you're getting harassed. People must assume that because you post about happy things all of your life is carefree and happy. I've noticed some people on the internet, because they can remain somewhat if not completely anonymous, feel comfortable doling out lectures, silly advice, or downright nastiness without any repercussions.

Best of luck to you, Isla and Scott. I'm loathe to use cliches or popular-for-now phrases, but "Haters gonna hate."

Huggy Bear said...

Well said, it will always be your own opinion that counts and the rest of the self opinionated people in this world count for nothing, when the health of one of your own always comes first.
We on Annecam love reading your blog, keep up the great work and stay safe.
Cheers,
Cam "H"

Corey said...

keep on doing what you're doing. I'd be willing to bet that you are still making more of an effort to be "green" than those who are attacking you on your blog. The health of our children will always take priority, regardless of cost or impact. You can rest easy.

Deb McEvoy said...

You owe no one an explanation. And with all the gettin' around your beautiful daughter does, the flights back home were well worth it!

Carol Florida U.S.A. said...

I'm sorry, too, Brittany, that someone has taken it on herself to judge you . . . after all, the plane was going to Chicago whether you and Isla were on it or not, wasn't it???? Hopefully that individual will realize that this kind of feedback is neither warranted or wanted!!! I am so glad that Isla got what help she needed, in a timely fashion, and now has a clean bill of health!! We had a baby born in the family (his name was also Scott), who had Legg- Perthes disease, and had to be in a metal cast for the first two years of his life. Fortunately they lived up in the Boston area . . . another city with excellent medical facilities . . . and his treatment was successful, too. I remember how excited he was when he was finally have the cast off, and be able to wear sneakers (still as a toddler)!! You don't have to explain to your friends, Brittany . . . they don't need it, and, unfortunately, often the "others" don't necessarily want an explanation . . . they just want to complain and feel self-righteous!! <3

Lindsay said...

Great response post. It's easy for people to say things online that they normally wouldn't say in person.... either way you're right, people should try not to judge! Especially when - like you said - you made no claims of being super green! Glad to hear Isla's in the clear :)

Dj Johnston, of www.djfineart.com said...

Even if you were to “fly willy-nilly to and from Chicago, . . . just to get my Dunkin Donut coffee fix” it would be no one’s concern but your own. The amount of fossil fuel you and Scott don’t put into the atmosphere by not partaking in the insane daily ritual of commuting by automobile from the subs to the city day after day, year after year, far offsets the fuel spent in the occasional airplane flight. Besides that, you’ve lived on the water long enough to become a Pirate, so do as we other Pirates do when attacked by the jealous souls: Smile and say “Arr, you’d probably right if ya weren’t so dam’ed wrong!”

Anonymous said...

Oh my GOD is that a disposable diaper!!!!! The humanity!!!

LOL these people... Really get a life. Keep to your own business.

Thanks for the whole story, but know as far as this avid reader is concerned, you no need to justify ANYTHING you do to ANYONE. It your life live it and the hell with people think.

Jayne Herring said...

Touche ;)or one of my favourite non-swearing phrases is to tell someone to "go honk on bobo" it makes me feel better!

Lauren said...

Ugh... that is ridiculous!

I love reading your blog. It sucks that just by putting your life out in the open that people feel like they have the right to criticize you.

Some people aren't happy unless they're trying to make others miserable. Judgy McJudgersons! :-P

You use all the greenhouse gases you want. I'll still read you! :)

Rebecca said...

Totally agree with the person who mentioned how much greener you are than a vast majority if ppl just by living on a sailboat. You are probably even greener than the person who left the comment.

In any case...

I hope *you* can keep in mind that way more ppl will take the time to make a negative comment than a positive one. I've read one statistic that it usually runs ten to one online, probably bc of the anonymity mentioned above. So there are multitudes of us out here in cyberspace thoroughly enjoying your blog while a tiny percentage are nitpicking. Their visibility is way out of proportion, though, so I hope you will not let them bother you too much.

Happy things are going well for Isla. My nephew was born with a condition which required him to wear casts, first on one leg then the other, for his first 18 months. He learned to walk wearing them. As worrying as these things are, there are many children suffering much worse. In fact my nephew was in the hospital for weeks after he was born due to a life threatening condition. So it is always a relief to be able to give thanks when those difficult times are over.

Enjoy your stay, hope you have an easy trip back.

swilliams21608 said...

Ignore any one who is rude or mean to you!! Too many trolls spend their lives in the dark, hiding behind their computers where they can be nasty to others in the anonymity of the virutal world. I love reading your blog!

Florencia said...

Tip of the hat for responding to that comment and addressing the issue.

For every one of these "naysayers" there are hundres who visit your blog daily and love your tips, thoughts, and yes baby photos! You've got your heart in the right place. And we love you for it.

Tim Labute said...

Hey Brit! Glad you wrote this post, and while I do not agree with whomever blasted you on Facebook, I am somewhat okay with the fact that they did. It gave you the opportunity to speak out against such instances and offer a lesson to be learned for readers, and the hateful antagonist from Facebook.

There will always be haters with big opinions. It is how you deal with them that counts. Kudos to you for a well handled situation, and Kudos to them for giving you the opportunity. No energy wasted :)

Tim

Lisa Hanneman said...

Look at that sweet little froggy girl. So glad her hips are working properly.

And, although I consider myself pretty green. You are by far more green in terms of garbage created, fuels, used, etc. etc.

heather k said...

I want to totally ignore the ignorant grumpy pants that commented about the greenhouse gases of you flying to Chicago....and focus on the excitement of Isla doing well! I was wondering a few weeks ago how her hips were doing. I'm excited to hear such a great update. Thanks for sharing....even though even that is none of our business :) many of us feel like friends just through reading the blog and wish you all well...especially the tiny sailor-girl. :) xoxo
p.s. ignore the haters.

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Love it! It's amazing how many people jump to conclusions and form opinions. Glad Isla is progressing well!

SWC said...

It's always the person driving the Prius with a cigarette hanging out the window that throws the first stone.

D. said...

Britney, both my wife and I love reading your blog and we both share the same hopes and dreams of sailing with our family. I remember when you posted your "this is not going to turn into a baby blog" statement, and, although I can understand keeping some things separate, I love that you have included Isla in much of your posts. how could you not? If she is anything like my 2 year old, then she consumes most of your lives. The fact that you are willing to share your lives with all of us is awesome! And for us it gives us a taste of our hopeful future. So I say keep doing what you are doing, as I know you will! Very happy to hear everything is great with Isla. She is a beautiful girl.

Tammy said...

People can be ass holes but it is from their own insecurities. I love your blog and I know nothing about sailing. I have only sailed once while living in Chicago. It was really fun and I understand why you do what you do. Anyways I think it means your blog has made it when you start getting nasty comments. But for the one nasty I'm sure you get way more love. I know it's so much easier to focus on the bad and easier to believe the bad but I bet I am right that there are a lot of people who are jealous of your life and want to bring you down anyway they can to make themselves feel better about their own lives. Keep up the great blob and thanks!

Tillerman said...

Sad to say, getting negative comments like this goes with the territory of blogging. I think the first comment ever on my blog was a negative one.

Just be sure that you have many many more supporters who enjoy reading your blog and love the stories you are telling about sailing as a family with little Isla.

Just ignore the trolls and the sad bitter people who feel the need to attack you.

Capt. Mike said...

It is nobody's business where you travel or why. I am guessing whoever was judging would do well to worry about their own carbon footprint. Hope this kill joy doesn't discourage you.

Neophyte Cruiser said...

Brittany,

Ni illigitemi carborundum. You're blog is well written, contains a big slice of humanity and is entertaining. Keep on writing for yourself and the rest of us will enjoy it, too.

Jared said...

Think of it this way. That plane was going to fly whether you were on it or not. So no less fuel would have been burned if if you didnt go. People are pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog Brittany! My daughter was born a week after Isla and that made me love it even more from the moment I found out you were pregnant. I could probably kill for my kid, and I assure you I have flown many times "just" to let her see her grandparents.. You write so well and you always surprise me! I read you from Ibiza Spain though originally from Sweden and I nurture a dream of learning how to sail. I would love to read something about how you protect Isla from the sun? I strongly dislike sun protection (although sometimes necessary) and prefer to let my daughter get used to the sun very slowly to build up a natural protection. Living here you can't avoid the sun forever! Usually never comment but now I felt the need to say hi and how much I appreciate your stories.

Ron Duren Jr said...

I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but that whole 'carbon offset' argument is just plain stupid. Do your best to be 'green', but know full well that is completely unrealistic to say you are living some kind of a zero emission life. C'mon. In addition, its not anyone else's business how you live your life. You have plenty of fans out here, so dont let the wacko's get you down...you are doing great, I love following your blog! And thats great news about Isla...love her name btw. :)

Ron

Lisa said...

You owe no one any explanations. Why and how you chose to travel, raise your child, live your life, (while in the public eye) is your decision and your decision alone. Let people judge. You can't stop them and trying is a fruitless endeavor.

On another note, diagnosing Isla's hip dysplasia early was wonderful. Mine was not diagnosed until I was almost two. My first time parents had no idea there was an issue. Fortunately, my uncle noticed and I was able to see a fabulous orthopedic surgeon at the Medical College of Georgia. Unfortunately, the late diagnosis meant I learned to walk on a plastic bar and wore braces from hip to toe until third grade. Big deal ultimately not, but definitely not a lot of fun for me.

PS - Your facebook follower won't like it very much, but we too are using an awful gas guzzling airplane this weekend. We are finally flying up to Annapolis to bring our new boat home to Beaufort over the next week or so. Woo hoo we're one step closer to being cruisers!

Charlotte said...

That little pic of Isla in her brace is adorable. I have SO BEEN there with comments from judgmental readers, judgmental friends, and judgmental family.

You have a great thing going. Great life, great kid, great blog! Just remember, haters gonna hate!

Keep on doing what you are doing. We are in your corner!

Anonymous said...

Nice post. And always remember...
Do not argue with idiots. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!!!

Greetings from PR.

Darrian Gourdine said...

You guys have nothing to apologize for!!
I guarantee the person(s) who are being so critical are not even HALF AS GREEN as you and Scott and Isla are!
And they prove it every day by being talkers and instigators, rather than being TRUE examples and gracious promoters of a better lifestyle. (LIKE YOU AND SCOTT, NO LESS!!)

Anonymous said...

Flying on a full 747 will net about 70 MPG for each passenger. You guys fly how often? Probably not even close to what the average person drives their 30 MPG car with no passengers in it. The 747 is a very old design, certainly not the most efficient passenger jet in the skies.

People often have huge misconceptions about what is and what isn't efficient (or green). For fun, look up how much CO2 an electric car emits in the air. No, not from the tailpipe, from the carbon based power grid it uses to "fuel" the batteries (at least in America). You'll be shocked and so will the person who chastised you I'll bet.

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