Hi everyone! Hallee here. Normally, I’d talk about something inspirational or romantic to go with the theme of the blog, but today I’ve decided to get a little up close and personal with you.
For years I blogged as Hallee the Homemaker, and my children kind of grew up in the “public” blogging eye. I blogged wide-open, letting my readers experience the dynamics of my family as if they stood in my living room day after day. But, once I left that homemaking blog almost a year ago, I quit writing about my children. My blog posts became about me (not my favorite subject) or my books or writing my different genres.
Recently, however, I wrote about one of my sons. For those of you who don’t know this side of me, my husband and I have three amazing children. Our daughter, Kaylee, is the oldest at 18. She’s vivacious, clever, and loves Jesus. She is an easy girl to adore.
Our youngest is our 7-year-old son named Johnathan Eugene — we call him JEB because those are his initials. He is often found toting a Samurai sword and making battle sounds as he swings it. He defines precocious and has been described by his pediatrician as “scary smart.”
Our middle son is 9-year-old Scott. He was a 30-week, 3-pound preemie. He is THE sweetest, most loving child on this planet. I had a friend over this morning and within an hour of her sitting down, he was in her lap. Scott is brilliant on levels I can’t even comprehend. This year, he was diagnosed with:
Autism Spectrum Disorder manifested by issues in reading and auditory comprehension, issues in interpersonal relationships, and issues in sensory processing with an above average raw intelligence
I recently wrote about an experience in a restaurant and posted it on my blog. Within hours, the post went viral, and I heard this week that Yahoo will be putting it on their news site.
Here is the post if you would like to read it: An Open Letter to the Waitress at Steak N Shake
As a blogger since 2009, I have to tell you that there is often a dream of a blog post going viral. Hallee the Homemaker’s “Homemade Fabric Softener” went viral on Pinterest one time. I had 10,000 hits on that blog within a few hours and that was a lot of fun and kind of silly.
But this post was deeply personal and touched the hearts of so many people. Talk radio hosts read it, major blogs reposted it, I’ve received countless feedback from it, and now it’s going to Yahoo. People have said over and over again how nice it was to hear good reports from a restaurant instead of bad. Steak N Shake contacted me and thanked me for the post. The HR department left a comment on the post this morning.
It’s been an amazing experience. Scott has no idea of the lives he touched through me writing this blog. As I’ve typed this blog post, he’s interrupted me about 16 times to show me previews of the upcoming Secret Lives of Pets interspersed with previews of Inside Out. Life to him is completely normal and nothing changed. But, maybe, somewhere through the tens of thousands of sharing that the post generated, someone’s life was a little bit brighter.
It’s difficult to say what blog post will create a popular appeal. Why would homemade fabric softener go viral? Was it an attempt by fed up Americans wanting to save money and get back to simpler things? Maybe. Maybe the idea that fabric softener can be made with 2 ingredients appealed with such simplicity.
Okay. But, why would a letter to a waitress in a small restaurant in Central Kentucky go viral?
Why? Reading the comments and the feedback, I think it’s because our media outlets are so flooded with bad news and bad people: terrorists, murderers, thugs, and villains dominate the media outlets. There’s an old saying that, “if it bleeds it leads.”
Instead of bleeding, I thanked a waitress for having a heart. Wouldn’t it be nice if most of the news was about heart and the goodness of people and Christian values?
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Sally Bradley says
Hallee, I read that blog post of yours last week, and it truly was beautiful. It is wonderful to see something good going so far and wide. :)
Hallee Bridgeman says
Thank you so much, Sally!
Valerie Comer says
I’m thrilled for you and for Scott… not only that something so good happened to you, but that it is touching so many lives!
JoAnn Durgin says
Awesome, awesome post, Hallee! When we write from our hearts, people respond. You’re right in that there’s been so much negativity in the news lately, that reading something refreshing about what people are doing right is a blast of fresh air. As you might know, I have a son very much like Scott, so this touched me, too, on a very personal level. Keep doing what you’re doing, and blessings to you! :)
Merrillee Whren says
Hallee, I’m so glad good things have come from your post. I had no idea when I shared it on my page that I would have so many people see it. As you said, you never know what will appeal to people.
Lee Tobin McClain says
Great positive blog post. Being thankful and appreciative is something we all need to remember to do. Good for you!
Narelle Atkins says
Hallee, lovely post :) I also parent a special needs child, and I’m so glad you were blessed to have a waitress who understood ASD and how to relate to your son in a positive way. Thanks for sharing your story.
Hallee, I read that letter on FB somewhere but didn’t know it was by you!! I was completely blown away by it, not so much you writing it (which is amazing in itself), but how the waitress responded in such a positive & understanding way. That this world still has compassionate people who reach out to others in love in simple yet profound ways! Wow, that’s all I got to say :-)
My son too battles ASD (Asperger’s) but as he’s grown (he’s 18 now) he’s learned to adapt a lot more to situations & handle himself in appropriate manners. There were times, however, when he was younger where I could see him being just like your son too. Change is hard no matter how little (straight line mustard instead of squiggly) and would have been handled with a complete melt-down! So I can completely understand how you go to bat for your son, teaching him, being his advocate in all situations and just letting him be how he is without criticism or shame! Loving him for who God created him to be….unique, completely lovable, and a gift to be treasured!