This week, Jill's school year wraps up and she begins summer vacation. As a stay-at-home Dad, this is an exciting time for me. In fact, I probably view the end of the school year with more excitement now than I did when I was actually attending school. The phenomenon is more or less the same: My work load lightens, I get to sleep in a bit later than normal, and the days find me with increased autonomy, enjoying activities I normally wouldn't get to. The difference is that raising a child is far more difficult than passing advanced calculus.
This year, however, something about the onset of summer vacation feels a bit amiss. I wouldn't go so far as to say that there's something necessarily wrong, but it's definitely not the usual carefree scene set to Alice Cooper's 1972 hit "School's Out", wherein my peers and I run screaming from our school, turning over the cars in the faculty parking lot before blowing up the entire institution in a display of academic rebellion that would make Allan Arkush proud.
Our blog reached (and surpassed) 100,000 page views today. It occurred to me that the overwhelming majority of these page views occurred since we resumed blogging in August of last year. Curiously, our first post in more than thirteen months was published the week that Jill returned to work and summer vacation ended. It had been a particularly exciting and rewarding summer vacation, featuring travel, fun times with family and friends, and of course, much more sex than the parents of a baby should ever expect to have.
Though neither Jill nor I ever consciously made the connection, I suppose that restarting our blog may have been a reaction to the end of summer vacation. Looking ahead at the next ten months of being the sole daytime caregiver of our baby - and for Jill being the sole daytime caregiver of thirty babies - I very likely needed the outlet, something fun and sexy to take the edge off of our newly-reactivated work routine.
During the 2010-2011 school year we blogged exactly zero times. At that point, our most recent blog post was a TMI Tuesday that was our sole offering for the month of July 2010. The transition to new parenthood, as well as a stressful move and then the adjustment to life in a new locale, took up most of our time and energy. Blogging was simply something for which we had no time - even if we still had the need - and we had no intention of ever doing it again.
It's clear that we've enjoyed not only being back, but being prolific. In the last ten months, we've published 343 posts. By comparison, in the nearly three years between the blog's inception and when we resumed blogging post-hiatus, we published only 124 posts. That is an increase of more than 250%. Of these 343 posts, the vast majority have been memes or other regular features, but eighty-three posts were completely original or otherwise not conforming to any manner of group behavior. This is impressive for us, as the sheer number of memes in which we participate frequently limits our ability to be spontaneous. We've discussed this elsewhere on our blog.
At the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing, we've accomplished a lot in the last ten months. We posted the first-ever sexy picture of Jill on the blog (which was our second picture overall), and our first ever HNT post. (Prior, we had only participated in HNT on The Other HNT.) We wrote plenty of erotica, though nowhere near as much as we would have liked to have written. "Open Box", Jill's story about a memorable toy-shopping trip, was read by Harper Eliot (formerly known as Lady Grinning Soul) on her Christmas podcast. Thanks to our friend Liza Bennet, one of our posts caught the eye of no less an authority than Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
Some of our posts have branched out into arenas beyond sex. As we find that we must frequently reconcile our ridiculously high sex drives with the fact that there is a dependent child living with us, some of our posts concern parenting (though primarily as it affects our sex life). As we are Americans concerned with the encroachments of the religious right into our private lives, some of our posts have concerned politics, especially where sex and sexual health are concerned. In October, we posted our single non-meme post that doesn't in any way involve sex. It's about horror cinema, and is somehow our most-viewed work, quickly becoming the first of a very small handful of posts to singlehandedly surpass 1000 page views.
Our greatest accomplishment since resuming this blog, however, is undoubtedly the acquisition of so many like-minded friends. In many cases, we find ourselves drawn more strongly to our online friends than we do to many of the friends we've known personally for decades. It's remarkable to discover just how highly we value open communication and sex-positivity in our friends. We wouldn't willingly give up the connections we've made for anything.
It is in part for this reason that the end of Jill's school year gives me a bittersweet, almost melancholy feeling, even as it fills me with excitement. Make no mistake, I don't believe that the thrill of having two months "off", i.e. not being my daughter's sole caregiver every single day, is in any way going to steer my focus away from blogging. In many ways, expressing our sexual selves has become one of our foci, and that's not likely to change.
No, my concern stems more from the fact that, with the exception of the occasional Saturday, we've managed to blog every day since late September. While Jill and I are not averse to skipping a day or two when absolutely necessary, we're afraid that skipping a few days due to travel will make it easier to skip a few days due to laziness. It's a problem we had frequently in our blog's early days.
In closing, while we are not planning to decrease our blogging frequency this summer, it's something that most certainly could happen. Should we go missing for a couple days, it's only because we're vacationing in some secluded paradise that doesn't happen to feature wi-fi, and not because we've had a change of heart. Should two or three days pass with nothing new from us, don't panic. Understand that it's just temporary, and that we'll be back.