When I was a child, my parents were my heroes. As a teenager, I often viewed them as adversaries. As I became an adult, they became more like great friends. Once that happened, I learned more about who my parents really are and were before my sister and I popped into the picture. And, I came to realize--as I think most of us do--that they are, well, kind of awesome. Blogger Eliot Glazer had the same realization. In fact, he not only realized his parents were awesome, but that all of our parents were awesome too. To celebrate this fact, Glazer has created a photoblog called My Parents Were Awesome.
Glazer says that he came up with the idea because as, "an editor at Urlesque, where we focus on everything webby...it's easy to get lost in the vitriol and snark of the blogosphere," and so to combat this cynicism he thought it would be great to "creat[e] a place that was 'warm and fuzzy'." But why did he choose to focus on parents? Were his parents really that awesome? "They're actually terrible, terrible people," he kids and quickly adds that actually "they're the best parents anyone could ask for." The reason he focused on parents is a bit more universal though. "[E]veryone has parents and most of us have pictures to commemorate them," he remarks, "and almost everyone likes sharing, so it seemed like an excellent fit."
He is definitely on to something. Glazer has received over 3,000 photo submissions in the little over two months since the site's launch and he jokes that he might have to hire an intern to keep up with all of them. The site has also received a decent amount of media coverage. I first heard about the site on NPR's show All Things Considered and later read a post about it on their blog. Fox News and ABC News have also interviewed Glazer about the site.
The site's success may not, however, stem solely from our simple desire to share. Glazer attributes it in part to the large number of people who really respect their parents and grandparents, and who have a sincere desire honor them. "I never would've expected so many people to come out of the woodwork dying to celebrate their own folks," he states.
Glazer, the proud parent of a 6-year-old Schnauzer mix, doesn't currently have children of his own. When kids do enter the picture, he hopes they'll attribute his awesomeness to his openness. "It would be great to have my kids know everything about me...It seems to make the parent-child relationship naturally healthy," he says. "How can one not think their parents are honest with them if there are no secrets? That's just pure respect, for better or worse." Even when there are no secrets, it can be hard to know everything about the people we call Mom and Dad. It can be even harder to imagine that the people who raised us--the ones who watched the nightly news, discussed local politics for fun, and played in the weekly Bridge club--were at one point the definition of cool.
Glazer's site provides the motivation for each of us to take a peek into our parents' awesome past and gives us a simple way to celebrate their coolness. My two favorite pictures so far are the hippies sticking out the top of the VW bug and the couple with the goats in the back of their car. Although, I am also quite partial to the pic above of my own parents on their honeymoon in Jamaica! I shared my favs with Glazer and while he agreed they are phenomenal shots, the one he loves is joan-submitted-by-elizabeth, "because it says so much about the subject and the era in which it was taken." Glazer seems to be having a ball celebrating the awesomeness of parents and says he has no plans to stop anytime soon.
Article cross-posted at http://blogcatalog.com/community