Good-bye, Balance

Twenty-six months. More than 500 entries. Over 100,000 comments.

I've had more fun on this blog than anyone has a right to with a computer screen. I've laughed, spit out my coffee, cursed, cried, learned invaluable lessons about work and motherhood, and fallen in love with hundreds of people I've never met. But as my friend Lila Leff says about motherhood in her Mommy Wars essay, "I see it as one of the greatest chapters in my life. But all chapters lead to the next chapter, and there is nothing worse than hanging around in a chapter after it has already ended."

So it's time to move on, folks. I hope you'll understand that I need to focus on my memoir about surviving domestic violence, Crazy Love, which comes out from St. Martin's Press early next year. Please send me an e-mail if you'd like to stay in touch, or visit me at my Web site, or join my weekly discussions over at Mommy Track'd.

Thank you all for conducting a landmark experiment -- sharing what really goes on inside our heads when it comes to balancing (and unbalancing) working, raising kids, and living our lives. Your candor, humor and passion have changed me forever, and I hope you'll keep it up. I'll remember you always. Most of all, I've learned that moms, dads, babysitters, doctors, grandparents, teachers, bosses and the blessedly child-free care more deeply about parenting than I ever imagined. Thank you all.

Washingtonpost.com remains committed to continuing the work/family conversation. They're sure to figure out some interesting ways to keep us all talking. Stay tuned.

For now, a little walk down cyberspace lane, with a list of my favorite discussions:

Equal Pay for Equal Work * Worst Mother Ever * Breastfeeding at Work * Helicopter Parents * This Mommy Track May Go Somewhere * Teacup Generation * Stay-at-Home Dads * The Opt-Between Revolution * Do You Pack Your Husband's Suitcase? * Ladies, Freeze Your Eggs! * Who's the Decider? * Forty Years of American Parenthood Supermoms * The Lies Moms Tell * The End of Motherhood * We've Raised a Me Generation * Working Mom Secrets * Women of the Future * Parenthood: The Comedy * Why We Need Britney * All's Women's Fault? * I Am An Autism Mom * Post Partum Depression * My Baby or My Job? * $100K Nannies * Career Women, Beware! * Single Mom Seeks Play Dates, Blind Dates * Could You Be a Stay-at-Home Mom * Slaves to Our Kids * Can Moms Be CEOs? * The New Daddy Wars * Meow! * Modern Moms, Outdated Laws * Thank You Ann Richards * Sex & Success * Moms in Paradise * Raising Balanced Kids * Life After Mary Poppins * No Kids For Me * $900 Billion Women * People of Cleavage *

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  June 20, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Conflicts
Previous: One Company Strikes A Balance |


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Comments

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Have a wonderful time!! I wish you all the best with your new literary baby. I will miss your blog. Thank you for everything!

Posted by: FashionistaMomDC | June 20, 2008 7:37 AM

I'll miss On Balance. But it's probably better for my work balance that I won't be looking at it anymore. Good luck.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | June 20, 2008 7:48 AM

Bye, Leslie. We'll miss you.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | June 20, 2008 7:50 AM

Good luck. I have followed this forum and all of its voices for most of the 26 months and will miss it.

(As a side note - why is it the main editor of the Juggle and you say goodbye in the space of a week?!?)

Posted by: Kate | June 20, 2008 7:57 AM

I find it synchronous that this is happening exactly when I'm finishing up at my job! I've learned a lot from the people who post on this blog -- MN, Fo4/Dandylion, Scarry, Laura, Moxie, ArmyBrat, Fred, Rockville Mom, altmom, pepperjade and babsy, even Get Real and pATRICK, and many more, too many to name. Thanks, everyone, and especially Leslie!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 20, 2008 7:58 AM

Thank you for this column, Leslie, and best wishes on completing your book. The topics have made for robust discussion.

Posted by: rlcooperman | June 20, 2008 8:06 AM

Wow Leslie, a bit unexpected! But every ending is a new beginning elsewhere. Maybe I will think of something more profound to say once I wake up!

Of course I will keep in touch. And as always, anyone who wishes to write Frieda or me can find us at Fred_and_Frieda@hotmail.com

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 8:15 AM

It's been a great journey for all of your readers, including your family (and husband). Even though I get my daily dose of "On Balance" in our house even without the column, I will sorely miss the On Balance column and community. You gave a lot of yourself to us all, and we thank you for it. You're the best:)
Love, Perry

Posted by: Perry Steiner | June 20, 2008 8:15 AM

Thanks leslie! Good luck!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 8:18 AM

Oh, sniff, sniff, sniff! Will write you a song in a bit Leslie!

Here is one for PepperJade I wrote a few days ago.

Songster: Are you ready OB Peanuts?

OB Peanuts: Aye, aye, Songster.

Songster: I can't hear you.

OB Peanuts: Aye, aye, Songster

Songster: OHHHHHHH

Who has the prettiest green eyes you e'er did see?

OB Peanuts: MGPJ!

Songster: Both mom and dad she must be!

OB Peanuts: MGPJ!

Songster: Hubby ran off, it was only his wish!

OB Peanuts: MGPJ!

Songster: Don't be dissing her or ye will get me fist!

OB Peanuts: MGPJ!

Songster: Ready?

Songster and OB Peanuts: MGPJ, MGPJ,
MGPJ!

Songster: My Girrrrrrrrllllllll Pepper Jade!!!!!

Songster: HA HA HA HA !!!!

Posted by: Songster | June 20, 2008 8:22 AM

Our very vocal trolls are easy to forget. But the rest of you -- your generosity of spirit and opinions are unforgettable. I am constantly amazed at how a bunch of people I've never met in person have taken up permanent residence in my heart and brain.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 8:26 AM

I am sad that the blog is ending although I have to agree with another poster that my work balance will improve.

I didn't post much but enjoyed reading the posts and really felt like I was getting to know people. I even think I learned a lot about families. I am a long way from achieving balance in our little family but should we continue as a family unit (still in serious doubt) I hope that I can successfully apply your collective experience to my family situation.

Posted by: Billie_R | June 20, 2008 8:29 AM

end of OB? Oh no, how will I keep my balance? I admit other's totally unbalanced lifes made me feel better, or at least, part of a tribe. There is something about knowing you're not the only one.

AB - how will you keep in touch? I need your missives.

Foam and Emily - what about you? your pregs and babies have been virtually precious for me, though real to you!

Songster - I never got a song! sniff sniff (though I'm not saying I did anything to deserve it, it was just somewhat of a goal to do something so newsworthy to rate a song...maybe I need to redo my goals? nah)

Posted by: dotted | June 20, 2008 8:38 AM

To keep in touch, we can use the Mommy Track'D blog. I write only once a week, but the comments post every day. It's a great site.

http://www.mommytrackd.com/features/lesliemorgansteiner

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 8:42 AM

Good luck Leslie. Thanks for putting yourself out there. I have to say that my skin is a lot thinner than yours; I certainly could not have put myself out there like you did.

I've learned so much from you and the regular contributors to this column, and I'm going to miss you all. Wish there was a way to keep in touch with folks, especially ArmyBrat, Dotted, Foamgnome, Fred (thanks for your e-mail address), WorkingMomX and MoxieMom - consistently voices of calm and reason.

Posted by: PakeMommy | June 20, 2008 8:49 AM

Dotted,

If what you wish is to be diss'd in a song, I am sure that one will come right along!

To all:

I will reveal my secret identity today. You all know who I am, you just may not realize it. Any guesses?

Posted by: Songster | June 20, 2008 8:50 AM

As polarized as our society has become, it's been fun to share ideas and differences with such an interesting group. Best wishes to all in the future!

Posted by: babsy1 | June 20, 2008 8:52 AM

Bye Leslie! All good things must come to an end and I'm happy I could be part of it from the beginning. I've learned a bit about balance, but even more important as WorkingMomX said it first, I learned about the people, their experiences, and hopefully acquired a little insight on how women think. (if that's possible) I've also made a lot of friends, a few enemies, and feel more prepared to give my kids the guideance they need to balance their own career and family in the future.

It's all about the people, folks, it's all about the people, and I thank you all for making many of my days here at work a little brighter. Hahaha!

Posted by: DandyLion | June 20, 2008 8:55 AM

As someone posted above:

As a side note - why is it the main editor of the Juggle and you say goodbye in the space of a week?!?)

Yes, this is a bit much to take! Sad to see this go, especially since I was finally starting to spend more time on it. Wishing you all the best in the new endeavor!

Posted by: Cheryl (aka LilMisBusy) | June 20, 2008 8:57 AM

Good luck Leslie!

We have had some good times on this board.

Whatever will the mean posters do now?

Look out onparenting.

Posted by: Irishgirl | June 20, 2008 9:07 AM

This was unexpected! I've followed this blog from the beginning as I was recovering from a broken leg in Florida through moving to the "big city" and trying to figure out how to balance my life reality with what I want it to be. I wish you the best of luck and can't wait to read your new book. You have been so strong to stand before this community and take the heat and for that, I sincerely thank you.

Posted by: FloridaChick | June 20, 2008 9:08 AM

I work in domestic violence, and would love to read your memoir. I think it's so important for survivors to tell their story.

Thank you for this blog, I've loved it.

http://jodifur.blogspot.com/

Posted by: jodifur | June 20, 2008 9:09 AM

(take this, Songster!)

Fred: Are you ready OB Peanuts?

OB Peanuts: Aye, aye, Fred.

Fred: I can't hear you.

OB Peanuts: Aye, aye, Fred

Fred: OHHHHHHH

Who writes a blog for all to see?

OB Peanuts: OB Leader!!!

Fred: Attacks, comments and snarks attracts she!

OB Peanuts: OB Leader!!!

Fred: If a silly guest column be something you wish!

OB Peanuts: OB Leader!!!

Fred: Then go elsewhere but she still will be missed!

OB Peanuts: OB Leader!!!

Fred: Ready?

Fred and OB Peanuts: OB Leader!!, OB Leader!!,
OB Leader!!!

Fred: Les-Leeeeie, Byyyyyyyyeeeeeee Bye!!!

Fred: HA HA HA HA !!!!

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 9:09 AM

Goodluck Leslie.

I will miss this blog even though I have been to busy of late to post much.

I am sure that most of us will just hop to onparenting. Look out Stacy.

Posted by: Irishgirl | June 20, 2008 9:09 AM

There is a an old saying-" The courage of your enemies does you honor"

Good luck Leslie

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 9:17 AM

It's about time. You ran out of ideas months ago.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:17 AM

Oh, I'm so sad to see it go. Thank you so much for running the blog Leslie and best of luck with your new book and new endeavours!

Posted by: Shandra | June 20, 2008 9:19 AM

jodifur -- pls send me your email. i'd love to be able to talk more about DV issues.

leslie@lesliemorgansteiner.com

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 9:30 AM

I am so sad to see this end. Good luck, Leslie -- I'll be looking for your book, and will stop by Mommy Track'd. I hope to see the regulars elsewhere. Maybe on On Parenting?

This has been much more fun than should be allowed during work hours. Thanks to all of you for the sage advice, the laughs, and the occasional snark.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 9:31 AM

On her last column I will honor Leslie for the past 26 months. Leslie has been given a great many advantages in life but also has had many offsetting agonies. Some of you have severely criticized Leslie for what she writes and how she leads her life. Some have understood. I believe that Leslie has always been honest to us about all parts of her life.

I understand how hard it is to write a column, having written one and participated in 2 others. Even though these 3 were meant to be a positive reflection of life and balance, Frieda and & still agonized over how much to reveal and how much to hold back. I understand what courage it takes on the part of Leslie (and Perry) to write and reveal on a daily basis. This is more courage than I care to look for within myself.

Leslie has certainly not escaped criticism from me, both in what you have read in the blog and what I have communicated to her personally and directly. She did make some of my more boring days at work interesting with her column and everyone's comments (Ok, some of her columns did make my day more boring!) I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to have a guest column in a major internet forum and to participate directly in several more columns such as the OB Sing-A-Long!

Leslie revealed the pain of her life and the joy of it. She provides a positive model that women can overcome the adversity of an abusive and failed first marriage to find love and balance later on. For this, I compliment her.

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 9:47 AM

I need my parenting blogs! Other than Mommy Track'd and On Parenting, what other parenting blogs do folks recommend?

Posted by: Kali | June 20, 2008 9:48 AM

Today I like even the trolls.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 9:50 AM

Kali - I like the juggle on the wall street journal.

Posted by: Kate | June 20, 2008 9:54 AM

I've been looking at Juggle - http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/ . But if you think On Balance got a little mean sometimes, I think Juggle can be worse.

Posted by: To Kali | June 20, 2008 9:54 AM

Like others I have read more than I ever posted, but I have really enjoyed this feisty online community. Thank you to Leslie and everyone who have been part of my daily journey.

Now if I could just learn to "end a chapter" gracefully rather than linger, that's a skill that would really bring balance to my life.

Posted by: Ishgebibble | June 20, 2008 9:59 AM

Dang, well, this just ruined my day! I'm seriously gonna miss this crew.

Songster, I was betting you were Fred, but now I'm not so sure given Fred's song above.

pATRICK, how's your dad? Haven't heard your voice in a while.

Posted by: Laura | June 20, 2008 10:02 AM

"I've learned a lot from the people who post on this blog -- MN, Fo4/Dandylion, Scarry, Laura, Moxie, ArmyBrat, Fred, Rockville Mom, altmom, pepperjade and babsy, even Get Real and pATRICK, and many more, too many to name."

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 20, 2008 7:58 AM

Let me echo WorkingMomX's sentiments. Thank you, Leslie, for bringing together this community where we have been able to share our experiences, our ideas and our feelings. Now, we all go our separate ways. May we all go from strength to strength, may we live long and prosper, and may the Force be with us!

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | June 20, 2008 10:04 AM

Very nice, Matt.

Amazing that there is someone else who loves Star Wars AND Tom Lehr. Thank you!!!!

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 10:08 AM

I think that we need BlogStats to give us a final recap!

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 10:09 AM

Fred, to answer your questions, I'm poignant but not crying. We have had a total blast together and I wish it weren't ending.

But you have to face good-bye squarely or it's no good!

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 10:24 AM

Hi Laura, thank you for asking. He is hanging in there, just very forgetful. Leslie probably is secretly relieved, God knows she has earned a break.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 10:24 AM

things I learned on OB:
a. wasabi nuts are a good thing
b. reasonable people can be unreasonable
c. just because one 'outgrows' an issue, doesn't mean it went away (see breastfeeding, time off after baby, etc.)
d. there is a cost to everything
e. someone always wants something
you don't get what you don't ask for
f. an opinion phrased in a friendly fashion goes far
g. people can't resist trolls
h. the education system must not be that bad because there are a lot of eloquent writers here
i. CSS - crappy state school
j. people hold deep, unreasonable, resentment towards ivy-type schools
k. sage green, the cave, ??

Posted by: dotted | June 20, 2008 10:33 AM

i stopped posting, because it was eating up too much time. But i've been checking in, and i will miss you all. I must have updates on Fredia's journey somehow!

Posted by: experienced mom | June 20, 2008 10:33 AM

Experienced Mom and all

Frieda said that was sweet that you thought of her. Right now, she has experienced a bit of a set back in the chemo treatment. So med treatment on a pause right now.

She never did wear that redhead wig!

F.

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 10:39 AM

As we say good-bye a question for you all - did you discuss OB off-line? I did, most often with my mom, but sometimes with friends.

WRT to juggle column - I was turned off at first but there is a similar diversity of viewpoints that makes it interesting.

Posted by: Kate | June 20, 2008 10:45 AM

Thank you, pATRICK.

Mixed emotions, yes. Writing a daily blog has been, for me, a big responsibility and a big honor. Developing a thicker skin has been good for me. But the best part is the camaraderie and getting a glimpse inside people's heads.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 10:46 AM

Maybe someone else should keep the blog going?

Posted by: Irishgirl | June 20, 2008 10:51 AM

Good for Leslie! A shame for many of the rest of us. I'll miss the wisdom of LizaBean, dotted, WorkingMomX, Laura, pepperjade, Sue, KLB and others. pATRICK, I'm glad you are still out there and that your dad is okay. Fred, keep us posted on Frieda - somehow, somewhere.

OnParenting is too boring and shallow to be a viable option. I vote for Celebritology, because byoolin and Sasquatch are funnier and quicker wits than most of us. Plus, blog karma is when the "mean mommies" join you and you discover they are not all mean and not all mommies.

All the best to some of the best.

Posted by: MN | June 20, 2008 10:54 AM

I'll miss "neighbor"-- what a great attitude and lifestyle. Gave me hope that I could get that someday.

Posted by: Hill Mom | June 20, 2008 10:55 AM

Irish Girl,

I will always remember your comment on how you drove property values down!

I was thinking of doing Fred's Alltime Quotes of the Day but alas, the old comment are no longer accessible. :(

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 10:59 AM

Maybe it would be fun to bring up some funny lines or memories of OB. My favorite line went something like this "people willing to throw grenades at a tea party" concerning my posts and others. I laughed for days about that one. I could just imagine some genteel gathering, with ladies in big hats, quietly and prudishly sipping on teas and then the utter chaos such an action would bring. Of course, no one would be hurt but it would be funny to watch.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 11:01 AM

I have soooo many favorite lines.

My most recent favorite, which has turned into my daily mantra, is "Expect Failure."

Does anyone remember what topic brought in the most comments in one day? Hint: 700 posts.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 11:06 AM

breastfeeding

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 11:07 AM

People of Cleavage?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 11:07 AM

either religion or pedophiles probably

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 11:09 AM

Father of 4's guest column? flights with children? Comparing Anna Nicole Smith and Ann Richards (couldn't resist)?

Posted by: MN | June 20, 2008 11:11 AM

The ANS and Ann Richards comparison was a classic!

Helicopter parenting should have been an eye-opener to many, but, alas, they are too focused on themselves and their kids to learn anything.

Packing your husband's suitcase was a personal fave too.

Posted by: dotted | June 20, 2008 11:13 AM

Isn't it moxiemom who always "lowered the bar" for the rest of us? Loved that.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 20, 2008 11:15 AM

I'm surprised and bummed. Its all so sudden. Leslie, tell me "its not you, its me." tell me, you'll call when classes start again! hee hee.

Dotted, well said.

Fred, I will miss your wisdom and I will keep Freida in my thoughts!

MN - I will miss your balance

Emily - i won't forget the spinich and what a testament to true love that is!

Army Brat - everytime I open the fridge and admire my awesome gasket, i will think of you.

Foam - best of luck with the new baby and your daughter. They are both lucky to have you.

Irish Girl - I'll miss the presence of another midwesterner.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but until then.

Keep the bar low and whatever you are doing - own it!

Posted by: moxiemom | June 20, 2008 11:17 AM

Ack - Laura - my montessori pal! keep the faith.

KLB - i'll miss your virtual cocktails! I hope if I ever need a nurse, I get you - we'll have a blast!

Posted by: moxiemom | June 20, 2008 11:18 AM

This is a sad day. I just found your blog recently and *love* it. I am disappointed that it will not continue, but wish you luck in your other ventures.

Posted by: Alicia | June 20, 2008 11:20 AM

I remember a little over a year ago when my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer how everyone here - total strangers all - was so kind and supportive. For that I am eternally grateful.
Of course I would have made it thru that stage and her subsequent death this last Feb but knowing there was a group of people who didn't know me or her but whose shoulders were available made it a bit easier to get thru the day. For that I say thanks to all - and to all a good night.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 20, 2008 11:24 AM

"Does anyone remember what topic brought in the most comments in one day?"

The wedding ring blog.

Posted by: Blog Stats | June 20, 2008 11:27 AM

Is that you, the real blog stats?

Can you give us stats on the number of comments by name etc.? (I just hope I am in the top ten!)

Pls do the top 50!

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 11:29 AM

Fred;

I am the real Blog Stats, although somebody else has used my posting name to bully other posters.

Later tonight, I'll post a few stats and the top 100. I don't want to eat up a huge block of space right in the middle of Leslie's last Onbalance blog.

Posted by: Blog Stats | June 20, 2008 11:48 AM

Leslie, thanks for pulling us together on the blog. I believe your upcoming book will be an important reminder that DV crosses all socioeconomic lines. It's impossible for anyone who has not walked in your shoes to understand the dynamics, but perhaps your book will help others understand.

Songster--I am honored by your SpongeBob tribute! Thank you for this and all the other times you've made us smile!

And thanks to the rest of you that have shared your wit and wisdom, your good times and bad, your encouragement and your well wishes.

Posted by: pepperjade | June 20, 2008 11:48 AM

«Wow Leslie, a bit unexpected!»
«Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 8:15 AM»

«Oh, I'm so sad to see it go.»
«Posted by: Shandra | June 20, 2008 9:19 AM»

«I am so sad to see this end.» .
«Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 9:31 AM»

«This was unexpected!»
«Posted by: FloridaChick | June 20, 2008 9:08 AM»

Sad, yes. Unexpected, no. Fridays, Leslie has been missing so many Fridays lately, I thought, either she is converting to Islam, or something besides On Balance is taking up much of her time. Balance, this has been a good discussion. Good luck with your book, Leslie.

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | June 20, 2008 11:48 AM

Abu,

Nice to see you. You comment about tying down the elephants in the midst of a hurricane is a OB classic! It does have a deep personal meaning for me.

Blog Stat,

This means that you will cut into my last post which is the farewell song to OB. Oh well!

Leslie,

Can the techs at the Washpo restore the comments for all the blog? Please ask.

Marian aka the Librarian

Was that you the other day?. I have missed you!

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 12:01 PM

It is noon and the traditional time for the Songster to post his song.

Leslie told us to fess up! (seriously)

You know the tune!

Songster: Are you ready Fred?

Fred: Aye, aye, Songster.

Songster: I can't hear you.

Fred: Aye, aye, Songster

Songster: OHHHHHHH Who writes silly songs for all to see?

Fred: FredFred is Songster, man!

Songster: Obscure, witty and silly is he!

Fred: FredFred is Songster, man!

Songster: He sends out greeting to KLB!*

Fred: FredFred is Songster, man!

Songster: If silly song parodies be something you wish!

Fred: FredFred is Songster, man!

Songster: Then drop Old Fred a line and he will dish!

Fred: FredFred is Songster, man!

Songster: Ready?

Songster and Fred: FredFred is Songster, man, FredFred is Songster, man,
FredFred is Songster, man!

Songster: FredFred the Songster Maaaaaaaaannnnnnnnn!!!

Songster: HA HA HA HA !!!!

========================================================

*EM's rule, officers drool!

Posted by: Fred/Songster | June 20, 2008 12:05 PM

*sigh* Now I'll never get to see the end of the movie or read the last chapter of the book.

Does Billie_R ditch the loser and end up with a great guy who loves and adores her and has the work ethic to back it up, sans the baggage?

Where and with whom does Mona end up?

Can Laura spread her firm's approach to balance throughout the civilized world?

Will moxiemom trade the minivan in for a hot two-seater convertible so her ponytail can swing in the wind?

Will foamgnome continue to be the Zenned out, perfectly organized, always under control, never-overly-excited role model of smart suburban motherhood when she has two children?

Will the trolls have an epiphany and become more tolerant of people who don't want their 10 year olds on public transit by themselves?

Will the childfree trolls find a new word for spawn or learn to share airplanes with good grace?

Will the regular who posts as abu_ibrahim ever disclose himself?

Did cmac and pittypat ever meet, kiss and makeup?

Will MattinAberdeen start reading paperback fiction published in the last twenty years?

Will DandyLion or pATRICK ever send their kids to a sleep-away camp where there is a male counselor?

Does Emily have any new spinach recipes?

What will dotted do when Roy Williams retires?

Will Sue or Liz D find Jesus?

Will atlmom's sister leave the loser and will her sister's kids be okay?

Will Fred and Frieda invite us all to their 50th wedding anniversary?

Will irishgirl's daughter be the first female president?

Where will the breast feeders go to preach their version of the gospel to the heathen?

What will ArmyBrat do with his time after softball season ends?

So many questions. Now, no answers.

Posted by: gcoward | June 20, 2008 12:10 PM

LOL, gcoward, I'm on the edge of my seat! Like DandyLion and Dotted and so many here, I learned a lot about people and life. I'll miss being able to check in on you all - good luck and good wishes to all of you!

Posted by: LizaBean, aka Megan | June 20, 2008 12:17 PM

A little birdie told me this was the last On Balance, so like a HS reunion that you don't really want to go to, I peeked in.

I'd like to make a shout out to my arch nemesis Pitty Pat.

Also to the poster formerly known as Catlady, I wish her well.

And to all the old regulars: the early days were the best, imho.

And Leslie, I didn't agree with you 99.9% of the time but this column took time and effort, so for that you should be recognized.

As Brian Reagan the comic says "Take Luck!"

Posted by: cmac | June 20, 2008 12:35 PM

Fred,

I was so happy that day when I finally won qoute of the day.

I will miss most of you. pATRICK I am so glad to see/type you on the blog. I have been thinking about you.

Texas dad of 2, where are you? You have to say goodbye as well. Dandylion and I will always be friends, he has my number. :)

MN, Moxiemom, Megan, Emily, Dotted, armybrat, etc. We may not have always agreed with each other, but I was happy having you all to argue with.

"Will irishgirl's daughter be the first female president?"

Well, if that is the case I better be good during the election. I just hope she doesn't have to buy West Virgina to win. :)


Posted by: Irishgirl | June 20, 2008 12:36 PM

What a great group! I'm just a lurker but my husband and I are trying to conceive, so I enjoy the advice and honesty from all of you. This blog and comments have helped me face my fears of parenthood and that I doubt we can afford for me to be a SAHM. I am so sad to see this blog end. Best of luck Leslie!

Posted by: anicole72 | June 20, 2008 12:37 PM

LOL dcoward! I still wunder if Chrissy and Porn Star are around and it Nice to see pATRICK one last time before saying goodbye.

The comment that made me laugh the hardest, and I still chuckle at it, came when I did my guest blog, and when the comments went sour about 10:30, somebody posted "Father of 4 is worse than Hitler!". I took it as sarcastic humor, and hit the floor laughing, but Leslie had it deleted.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 20, 2008 12:37 PM

Woof! Woof! Woof!

Whimper.

*lays down, takes a deep breath, and sighs*

Posted by: Lil Husky | June 20, 2008 12:41 PM

Last thought, best exchange was the ongoing On Balance Barbie jokes. I recall laughing with tears streaming down my face.

Posted by: cmac | June 20, 2008 12:47 PM

Will Childless by Choice end up happily married to Joe, the insurance salesman, buy a three-bedroom home in Ellicott City, and have 1.7 children?

Will Cream of the Crop learn humility?

Did that kooky guy who used to post once a week about how divorced dads get screwed and all women are money-grubbing evildoers ever get therapy?

Will foamgnome's mother-in-law pick a new color or will she receive sage green gifts for every occasion for another 30 years?

Did bababooey start taking his medication or was he sentenced to a life term in Attica without Internet access?

My favorite OnBalance line just might be from pATRICK: "Minivans are the death of a young man's dream."

Posted by: MN | June 20, 2008 12:49 PM

"Minivans are the death of a young man's dream."

I'm thinking there are more than a few young (and some not so young) women who feel the same way.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 20, 2008 12:55 PM

Irish girl, my Onbalance sweetheart, when your daughter runs for Pres, I'll vote for her.

My favorite columns were the Snapshot chat, the sing along, the hair blog, followed by the nightmare boss and bad parents blog.

And when I hear a thunder storm brewing up, I call out to my family to prepare by shouting, "It's time to tether the elephants, a storm is coming!"

Posted by: DandyLion | June 20, 2008 12:56 PM

"Did bababooey start taking his medication or was he sentenced to a life term in Attica without Internet access?"

You always had a way with words. ;)

No if we could just mehitabel to tune in....

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 1:00 PM

Wait, I never got the recipe for virtual flan!!! AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 20, 2008 1:00 PM

now (sp)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 1:01 PM

Songster - Thank you for the music (that is both a thank you to you AND a tribute to ABBA). The song you did for me will be treasured and shared with the moxiekids! Can't wait to hear your final curtain call later today!

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 20, 2008 1:09 PM

Hi Irishgirl, I hope you are enjoying your beautiful baby!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 1:12 PM

I believe this the following was the all-time most commented subject: Whether You Kept Your Maiden Name or Not.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/onbalance/2006/09/to_keep_or_nix_your_maiden_nam.html

I don't pretend to understand WHY this was so popular. Maybe simply because everyone has a name so everyone had something to say?

My recollection was that we got an even 700 comments on this one. But for some reason, the comment ticker says 666. Pretty weird, huh? Some Exorcist vibe going on...

This is like a movie where we don't know everyone's final ending.

Think there should be some kind of alumni club.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 1:16 PM

Hi Irishgirl, I hope you are enjoying your beautiful baby!


I am! He is such a clingy, little man though! I hope things are going good for you and I will keep your dad in my prayers.

I don't remember the Barbie jokes?

Posted by: Irishgirl | June 20, 2008 1:17 PM

Leslie,

Sure you know why, LOL. You were/are a lightening rod for the wingnuts who interpret everything you write (even when Brian or a guest blogger wrote it, and the wingnuts didn't read that far) as a challenge to The Way Things Should Rightfully Be In Camelot. The name debate is a proxy for feminism vs. whatever they think is the opposite. It was fun, though.

I wish you, Perry and your kids all peace, love and happiness. Thanks for sharing this space with the un-famous and un-published.

Posted by: MN | June 20, 2008 1:25 PM

Will DandyLion or pATRICK ever send their kids to a sleep-away camp where there is a male counselor?

Of course, as along as father of 4 goes too ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 1:26 PM

Where is John L and did he and his wife ever start a family?

Posted by: LongtimeLurker | June 20, 2008 1:26 PM

Good luck in your future endeavors, Leslie! Thanks for all the time and effort you've put into OB.

Posted by: nvamom | June 20, 2008 1:30 PM

Shucks, this is downright nostalgic! It is fun to see pATRICK and some other names coming back, I've wondered where you went. It's hard to believe that it's been over two years, I think I started reading pretty soon after it started and it's been a wild ride.

And I agree with others, Leslie - you deserve a lot of credit and thanks for doing this thing and I wish you the best. I also think it's great that you are turning your focus onto your book about domestic violence, an issue that can use your voice.

Posted by: LizaBean/Megan | June 20, 2008 1:41 PM

IrishGirl wait -- YOUR daughter is running for president, too?

Mine plans to in about 10 years, when she's 19. I hate to tell her she will have to wait more like 40 years. But I'm sure she'll make it one day!

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 1:45 PM

While I haven't posted a lot lately, I have lurked regularly and will miss the regulars.

pATRICK: Glad you stopped by to say goodbye!

I have learned from this group, laughed, lost my temper, and, best of all, had the opportunity to think about and write down my thoughts and beliefs about so many issues, something I would never have done otherwise. I will miss the camaraderie and the different points of view, trolls and all.

Thank you, Leslie, for bringing together this group of friends.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | June 20, 2008 1:48 PM

Hahah Leslie,

At time I think that a 19 year old could do a better job at running the country than some of the people we have in place now. (both parties)

Maybe our daughter's can run together!

Posted by: Irishgirl | June 20, 2008 1:50 PM

IrishGirl wait -- YOUR daughter is running for president, too?

Mine plans to in about 10 years, when she's 19. I hate to tell her she will have to wait more like 40 years. But I'm sure she'll make it one day!


My 5 yr old daughter has added president to her list of future careers. We now have doctor, hairdresser,pro ice skater, and now president. She asked what does the president do and i explained it and the fact that he/she is the boss. She immediately thought her presidency would be a good idea. Girls can do anything boys can do right daddy? Of course pumpkin. (very satisfied with herself after that, to the dismay of her brother)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 1:50 PM

Wow - I start a new job Monday and have been wondering how hard it would be to keep myself from peeking at OB. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would read the comments in the evening at home and then regret the amount of time on the computer vs other things.

This timing couldn't be better for me. No OB removes the temptation to be on the internet when I shouldn't be, and also keeps my evening hours free. It's been fun, but in a way, has also been extremely time-sucking.

Posted by: another lurker | June 20, 2008 1:56 PM

"She asked what does the president do and i explained it and the fact that he/she is the boss. She immediately thought her presidency would be a good idea."

LOL, pATRICK, truly I missed these anecdotes from you, and I will in the future. Keep on raising those great kids. I still laugh about the pretty pee pee one. :)

Posted by: Megan | June 20, 2008 1:59 PM

"Irish girl, my Onbalance sweetheart.."

Nothing against Irishgirl, Fo4, LH, and DL - but wtf!!???

I thought I was your On Balance sweetheart. My heart is broken.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 2:09 PM

" I still laugh about the pretty pee pee one. :) "

I still walk like inspector clouseau (from the pink panther) would in his apartment trying to detect Kato whenever i get out of the shower...........

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 2:09 PM

Wait, what? What about all those great guest posts that were suspended? Why can't we keep that up?

And why can't the husband keep writing?

I understand Leslie isn't going to remain committed to this and that's cool- but why does the whole blog need to end? I mean there's tons of redundancy with this and OP true, but just cuz Leslie is leaving we have to close down the whole blog?

Posted by: Liz D | June 20, 2008 2:09 PM

Fred! I KNEW IT! I was totally about to post my guess when I saw that you had already revealed yourself. Curse this west coast time!

I'll miss this blog, but mostly I'll miss the posters. I know I've been AWOL most of the year because of school, but your messages have always meant a lot to me. I hope we can all find another place to settle and have friday afternoon margaritas! You guys rock!

Posted by: Mona | June 20, 2008 2:11 PM

Emily,

Didn't I write you a song? (either as Fred or the Songster?) I thought you were my OB sweetheart!

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 2:11 PM

Right Leslie,
Why can't we keep the blog? I'd write something once a week. So would Liz D (she has a lot of interesting experiences to share :). Any other volunteers?

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 2:12 PM

Fred,
You are so sweet. Yes, you did write me a song. OK. I'll be your OB sweetheart, if just for a a day.

I think I'm going to cry.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 2:14 PM

CBC - Aren't you going to drop by and say goodbye? One last time, for old times sake? I promise to be nice.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 2:15 PM

I haven't been reading "On Balance" for the last few weeks due to a family emergency in Florida and I just decided today to try return some normal activities to my life. Lo and behold, I caught the last OB! NOOOOOOOO!!! I will really miss this column and the wonderful forum. I have gotten some great ideas and been able to vent. Thanks for sticking with it so long Leslie and Brian! Best of luck!

Posted by: Diana Beckmann | June 20, 2008 2:19 PM

Awe Emily, my Starbucks coupon still awaits you folded in my wallat. I'm saving it for you, ya know.

Posted by: DandyLion | June 20, 2008 2:21 PM

Yes, DL - I almost did email you. But then I was afraid it would ruin our wonderful online relationship. Reality can be very cruel.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 2:24 PM

Leslie, I'm sad to see this blog go away. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading it and occasionally daring to add in my two-cents' worth. I will miss you and wish you the best.

I can't begin to name all who have influenced my thinking and tickled my funny bone, so I won't try. I'll just say to Fred/Songster, I figured it was you all along. :) I'll keep you and Freida in my prayers and I hope to visit your fair city once again (last time was in 1973).

pATRICK, you and your dad have been in my thoughts and prayers a lot. I will continue to lift you up. God bless you both.

Oh, goodness, my reading glasses are getting fogged up and my contacts are floating so much I can't focus. All of you, regulars, occasional visitors, trolls, and anyone else who stops by, here is an old gaelic blessing: "May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand."

Oh, and may you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you are dead. ;)

Posted by: Lynne | June 20, 2008 2:27 PM

Lynne,
What a beautiful blessing. I have seen a few times before, and it sounds even more lovely every time.

Seriously folks, its been a pleasure and an honor to mingle with such great people. This blog feels like a gathering place with familiar faces and good friends -- a place where I can be myself. Thanks for the company and good luck to all of you. Hope to bump into you again.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 2:33 PM

Thank you Lynne, I appreciate that. I hope more people chime in before I have to go. Funny how you miss talking to people you have never met.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 2:40 PM

You are very welcome. I feel as though all of you are friends, even though we have never met in person, and I wish each one of you the very best. This blog ending will leave a void in my life, but as some wise people have already noted, many of us will now be more productive at work. :)

Posted by: Lynne | June 20, 2008 2:59 PM

Well, this is good bye. I have enjoyed talking with everyone here and I wish all of you the best. Take care.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 20, 2008 3:02 PM

Yeah Emily, reality can be very cruel, however, I will hold your virtual baby anytime you need a nap.

And thanks to everybody for challanging my sexist snark. I have to admit though, it's been fun to play Whack-A-Troll on this blog on days when I woke up with a bad attitude.

And good luck to Foamgnome on her new baby. (Has she popped yet?) And Newslinks, I praying that everything comes out OK with your baby. Sorry it had to end before we got the news.

Maryland Mom, won't you drop by and tell us if you ever moved the whips from the bedroom back into the stables.

And Army Brat, What's this. Your very last post, only 5 words, I think that's a record for you. :-)

Posted by: DandyLion | June 20, 2008 3:02 PM

Emily's Grandmother's Famous Flan

Caramelize 1 cup of sugar in a heavy non-stick skillet. You do this by heating the skillet on high, and simply adding the sugar. Do not mix, but keep a very close eye on it. After a few minutes (maybe 2 or 3), you will see that the sugar will begin to melt and turn brown. At this point, you can begin to mix it with a wooden spoon. It will initially clump up, but eventually, it will melt and turn into an amber colored syrup. Keep on mixing it. As soon as it is done melting, remove it from the heat and CAREFULLY pour the syrup into a bundt cake mold. Make sure the bottom of the mold is covered with syrup, by turning the pan slowly and carefully. Cover the sides about 1/3 to ½ of the way up. Allow to cool until the caramel hardens.

Custard

1 quart of half and half (the real stuff )
1 cup of sugar
10 whole large eggs
4 cloves
2 sticks of cinnamon
I shot of real vanilla extract (DO NOT- use imitation vanilla flavoring)
1 shot of cognac (optional, but this makes it really good)

Scald, but do not boil, the half and half in a large saucepan. Take it off the heat when tiny bubbles begin to form on the sides. Add the sugar, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and cognac. Mix well and then let sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture cools off a bit. After 10 minutes, take out the cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Crack and beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl, until the egg yolks and whites are well mixed, and there is a little bit of froth on the top. About 1 minute with a hand mixer.

Slowly, in a long, slow stream, pour the eggs into the warm half and half, and continue to mix as you pour. Mix until well incorporated.

Pour mixture in the bundt cake mold that has been covered with the caramelized sugar. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour in a waterbath in an oven that has been heated to 350 degrees. The waterbath should come up about 1 inch on the flan mold. When done, the custard will be set, but it will still be shaky. It will harden more as it cools.

Cool on the counter for an hour and a half, and then move to the referidgerator and cool for another couple of hours. You can keep in the fridge until ready to use (even overnight).

When ready to serve, find a large plate that has some depth to it. It should be larger than the flan mold. Run a butter knife along the sides of the flan, to loosen from the mold. Then place the serving plate in an inverted position over the flan mold, hold them together tightly with both hands (one hand on the flan mold, and the other on the serving plate). Quickly, flip them over so that the flan is on top of the serving dish. Allow a few seconds for the flan to come down. You will see the syrup on the serving plate. Gently, lift the mold off, and voila, you have flan. Serves 6 to 8 people.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 3:04 PM

Gcoward,

I wish I could tell you what the last chapter for me was. We are either in the last throes of our relationship because as my Mom would say - he is working on my last nerve - or he has suddenly discovered what an amazing woman I am and now that he is confronted with the fact that I am getting ready to leave he will do what it takes to repair the relationship.

So we shall see. The good news is that whatever happens.... I know that I will be good. I did the best I could and can walk away with a clear conscience when/if the time comes.

But I will seriously miss all of you and your comments. In some small way, I have felt like I was in the middle of a little community. You did get a sense of knowing/meeting people although you only saw words on a screen.

Posted by: Billie_R | June 20, 2008 3:07 PM

I'm so, so glad to see pATRICK! You were missed.

I'll really miss exercising my hateful side! If you only knew what a pussy cat I really am!

See ya on OP and among the Lizards...

Posted by: atb | June 20, 2008 3:10 PM

Good luck, Foamy, whereever you are. I hope you are well, that your baby's birth is easy and fast, that your baby is born strong and healthy, and that he sleeps through the night very soon after he is born. I have loved your even-keeled wisdom, well researched information, and generally wonderful attitude.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 3:11 PM

Oh, atb - the Lizards are going to hate you for that!!!

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 3:12 PM

You guys are the greatest.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 3:19 PM

You guys are the greatest.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 3:19 PM

~so why are you leaving us?!? Just kidding.

Posted by: Kate | June 20, 2008 3:24 PM

Fo4, I will miss you the most. You took a lot of heat from the PC crowd who can't distinguish a little gender humor from true sexism. Maybe it's an age thing. As a 52 year old female, I found most of your comments funny and not offensive. It seems the younger women take offense much more easily. Maybe as we age and become more comfortable in our own skins, we become less defensive.

My family also has CC debt and sometimes must juggle due dates for bills. I think that this is true for many more people than care to admit it. In our own way it is how we achieve balance - It's no fun to work all the time and be away from family so we don't work excessive hours. It's also no fun to never have fun - no outings, no vacations, no new things. Our family has decided that we would rather "live a little" while we are living and pay cc interest than to stretch every penny and be miserable in our lives.

Anyway, I really admire how you have conducted your life with grace and humor while dealing with situations most of us will never experience. Your children are lucky to have you for a dad. Your wife is lucky as well, although she is truly a saint :) You seem to have the kind of loving relationship that most people only dream of.

If I ever see a blind man on the Metro, I will be sure to speak.

Posted by: anon | June 20, 2008 3:30 PM

Emily I will be your onbalance sweetheart.

I don't care what Dax says, I know you are hot. ;)

Posted by: Irishgirl | June 20, 2008 3:36 PM

Oh, and BTW, I, too, am bringing into the world another whining, crying, vomitous, carbon-producing, bratty, undisciplined, nose-picking, benefit-sapping spawn. Yay me!

Posted by: atb | June 20, 2008 3:38 PM

So why can't one of the regulars run with the blog? Isn't scary a writer?

Posted by: regular lurker | June 20, 2008 3:39 PM

Thank God, maybe this rag will start printing some quality stuff now. It scares me that you people are raising children.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:40 PM

What a coincidence that I peeked in today! I haven't posted in ages, since work and life picked up pace. I've divorced, moved my mom in with me and the kids following her stroke last summer, and embarked on single motherhood of two kids. My familly circus is in full swing.

This has been a fun blog to read, although I've been on the periphery. Take care everyone.

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | June 20, 2008 3:42 PM

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 3:40 PM

Awwww, good -- I was worried the trolls wouldn't come by to say goodbye. . . .

Posted by: Laura | June 20, 2008 3:44 PM

Yeah, atb! Make sure to buy some carbon offsets like Al Gore to make up for the new bundle of joy.:)

Thank God one of the trolls decided to post.

Posted by: Irishgirl | June 20, 2008 3:47 PM

First time poster here -- good luck Leslie. I plan on reading your book next year and 'keeping in touch.' You're an inspiration!

Posted by: Christa | June 20, 2008 3:47 PM

Well, I'm sorry to see you go. You did a good job, and this is an important conversation which seems to be overwhelmed in the media by the "latest" - gas prices, or whatever.

Posted by: Jennifer | June 20, 2008 3:48 PM

theoriginalmomof2 |

Sorry about your divorce. Hope things are on the up swing for you.

Posted by: Irishgirl | June 20, 2008 3:48 PM

Irishgirl - Thank you. I'm sure you are a hottie too. In fact, I know we all are absolutely gorgeous, slim, athletic, attractive, and charming.

I bet Fred and DL are stiff competition for Russell Crowe and Patrick Dempsey.

And the trolls, well, they are trolls. But we love them anyway.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 3:55 PM

I hope you let us know when your book publishes. Maybe through Mommy Track'd.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 4:00 PM

Bless you, Leslie! I hope your book will make the world a little bit better place.

Bless you to all the regulars who included me.

Bless you to the trolls who gave me legitimate (?) targets for expressing my mean side.

Bless you to gcoward for hoping I find Jesus. That is a very generous thought.

I believe Jeshua ben Joseph was a wise and kind person. On more than one occasion I've fallen to my knees, raised my arms, and cried out in prayer, "Dear Jesus, save me from your followers!"

And I believe my prayer has been answered. ;)

Posted by: Sue | June 20, 2008 4:12 PM

whoo Sue, talk about a back-handed complement/slap. what a wake up call amidst the melancholy. well, if it makes Sue happy, i suppose that is all that matters to Sue.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 4:15 PM

OK, this is it. I'm leaving the party and headed for the train. I'l check back in once more and see where I ended up in Blogstat's list.

Handshakes for the guys. Goodbye hugs and kisses for the girls, with permission of course, (I learned that from here) Extra tight squeeze for Irish girl and Emily.

It has long been one of my daily goals to get people to smile and laugh, and I hope I've accomplished my goal through the Onbalance blog. You all certainly have done that for me. Thank you Leslie. Thank you all.

Goodbye!

Posted by: DandyLion | June 20, 2008 4:21 PM

I agree that Irish Girl is a total babe, reddish-black stick straight hair, greenish blue eyes (fiery!), a few freckles, very skinny...funny, fearless, the kind of girl who grew up with tons of brothers.

And DandyLion, you are the BEST BEST BEST. Thank you for your humor and for reminding me, almost daily, why I love men. I will be looking for you on the streets of downtown DC.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 4:28 PM

Right back at you, DL. See on on Staci's blog, maybe. I also went to take a peek at Mommy Track'd, and it looks pretty interesting. Leslie's area is called "My Two Cents."

And if you really want to make some people run for cover and complain, you can troll the Celebritolgy blog. They hate us mean mommies (MMs), but they are sure fun to pick on.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 4:28 PM

I feel like Evita on her balcony, waving madly. With my virtual pearls and perfect blonde hair. I love you all! Thank you for everything! I will miss you and think of you often, especially in those "motherhood is truly a comedy" moments of howling frustration.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 4:31 PM

Thank you Irishgirl! It's been hard, but I'm making it!

And you know, I was so happy to get that divorce decree in the mail, I was one grinning woman!:>

Take care!

Posted by: theoriginalmomof2 | June 20, 2008 4:34 PM

Leslie - you are cracking me up! If you start into "don't cry for me Argentina"...well a virtual toast to you!!

Posted by: dotted | June 20, 2008 4:35 PM

Darlings,
Got yer back, girlfriends! Don't let the turkeys get you down and always keep a rainbow in your heart. Remember that we all end up wearing diapers one day, so age is the great equalizer and one by one a bean a day will fill the bag. Keep sweet Jesus near to you and you will always have a breeze blowing through your bloomers.

Posted by: pastis | June 20, 2008 4:43 PM

"Don't Cry For Me Argentina"

[Eva:]
It won't be easy, you'll think it strange
When I try to explain how I feel
That I still need your love after all that I've done

You won't believe me
All you will see is a girl you once knew
Although she's dressed up to the nines
At sixes and sevens with you

I had to let it happen, I had to change
Couldn't stay all my life down at heel
Looking out of the window, staying out of the sun

So I chose freedom
Running around, trying everything new
But nothing impressed me at all
I never expected it to

[Chorus:]

Don't cry for me Argentina
The truth is I never left you
All through my wild days
My mad existence
I kept my promise
Don't keep your distance

And as for fortune, and as for fame
I never invited them in
Though it seemed to the world they were all I desired

They are illusions
They are not the solutions they promised to be
The answer was here all the time
I love you and hope you love me

Don't cry for me Argentina

[chorus]

Have I said too much?
There's nothing more I can think of to say to you.
But all you have to do is look at me to know
That every word is true

Posted by: goodbye Leslie | June 20, 2008 4:44 PM

"And DandyLion, you are the BEST BEST BEST...for your humor and for reminding me, almost daily, why I love men."

Leslie,

Well Leslie, make me feel like chopped liver or a potted plant. I forget which!

See if the Songster e'er sweetly serenades you again!

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 4:52 PM

Fred,
Unfortunately, the bad boys can be really attractive to nice girls like Leslie and me. I've had my share of bad boy boyfriends, and DL reminds me of some of them. In the end though, if it's any consolation, we end up with the nice, stable, dependable guys like you. Frieda won the lottery. Best wishes to both of you, and I will continue to pray for her good health.
Em.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 5:00 PM

Totally true about good girls and bad boys.

DandyLion is my virtual bad boy indulgence.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 5:02 PM

I want to throw my voice in for continuing the blog. I would submit an article or two. Brian isn't interested in taking over full-time?

I almost feel like this is superhero reveal day and I should take off my mask...but I'll wait and see if this continues on!

Posted by: FloridaChick | June 20, 2008 5:14 PM

Posted by: FloridaChick | June 20, 2008 5:14 PM

this it honey, the lights are going out......

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 5:20 PM

FC

Are you porn star? I have always wanted to know who porn star is!

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 5:27 PM

I always knew Fred and Freida were really superman and wonderwoman

Posted by: dotted | June 20, 2008 5:31 PM

I'm tone deaf so I'm not going to start singing Don't Cry For Me Argentina...

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 5:31 PM

I'm tigger!

Posted by: dotted | June 20, 2008 5:32 PM

And I'm Christy.

Just kidding.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 5:36 PM

I am Cat Woman. Meow!

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 6:09 PM

I see I was mentioned in a back handed kind of way at the beginning of the day, in conjunction with pATRICK - what a hoot!

Regardless, it has been entertaining to read, respond and get my responses deleted by Leslie! I know I was hard on you Leslie, but in the spirit of the day I won't dwell on differences, but wish you well.

See you in the funny papers.......

Posted by: Get Real | June 20, 2008 6:17 PM

Catwoman - now there was someone destroyed by a bad movie. Maybe Leslie, you can be the original Catwoman. I am woman, here me roar and all.

Posted by: dotted | June 20, 2008 6:30 PM

Exactly, Dotted. The vintage Cat Woman, that's me.

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 6:39 PM

The original catwoman portrayed by Julie Newar or Lee Meriwether on the Batman tv series. HOT HOT HOT!

http://www.womensctr.org/images/auction/LEE%20MERIWETHER.jpg

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 6:45 PM

to the tune of New York, New York!

Start spreading the news
She's leaving today
We are parting today, OB, OB
Leslie's vagabond shoes
Are longing to stray
And make a brand new start of it
OB, OB
She wants to publish in the city that never sleeps
To find her book the king of the hill, top of the heap

These old OB blues
Are melting away
She'll make a brand new start of it
In old D.C.
If she can make it there
She'll make it anywhere
All thanks to you, OB, OB.

Posted by: Fred the Songster | June 20, 2008 6:51 PM

Fred's Final Quote of the Day

To Leslie

"Today I like even the trolls."

The Creepy Van (tm) awaits you when you are in New Orleans next.

Except for one last song, that is it for me. Y'all know how to get ahold of me.

Bye Everyone!

Fred

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 7:06 PM

Good night, Fred. Good night, Leslie. Good night, Dandylion. Good night, Irishgirl. Good night, MN, and Megan, and Lizabean, and Dotted, and WorkingMomX and Liz D. Good night.

Posted by: Emily | June 20, 2008 7:14 PM

Why does this blog need to end?

-It's never on topic of "balance"
-It's a platform for Leslie's feminist drivel
-WSJ's blog is sooooooo much better so there is no need for it anyway

Hopefully the Post will either end this blog or find someone to write who doesn't have a transparent agenda

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 7:53 PM

-"WSJ's blog is sooooooo much better so there is no need for it anyway"

Hmmm.. I'm just betting there's not a news organization in the country in which the editors decide to add or discontinue a blog based on "need".

Bye John-Boy. Bye Mary-Ellen.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 8:03 PM

Final Song to the tune of "Closing Time" by SemiSonic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdmLmIArqWM

Closing time - time for OB to finish and us to go out into the world.
Closing time - turn the lights up over every boy and every girl.
Closing time - one last call for Dotted & all so finish your typing here.
Closing time - you can comment but you cannot comment here.

I know now that the net I will roam.
I know not what I will take as my new home.
I don't know where is my new home.
Need a new home...

Closing time - time for you to think of all the places together we have been.
Closing time - OB won't be open but you are my brothers and sisters since we all been in.
So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits - I hope you have found
a friend.
Closing time - every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

Yeah, I know I need some other place to go.
I just don't know who could fill this hole.
I don't know who can fill my soul.
Fill my soul...

Closing time - time for you to go back to the places you will be from...

I might just go on to Hax
She has some sharp and witty facts
But OP never did it for me,
No, not for me.

Closing time - every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...

Posted by: Fred | June 20, 2008 9:06 PM

Fred, you are the best. Thanks, everyone. Nite-nite...

Posted by: Leslie | June 20, 2008 9:17 PM

Wow, I can't believe the lights are out. OMG.
Well, I guess now i won't feel so guilty for missing the posts during the day (since I'm home with the kids... - well, not really home...).

I'll miss you all! It's been a bumpy ride, but always interesting and funny and fun.

Leslie - good luck with everything.
To all of you - it's been great.

Posted by: atlmom | June 20, 2008 9:46 PM

The last OB? I head to the beach for a vacation and nearly miss it all.

Best of luck to you Leslie; it was fun getting to know you and the rest of the OB folks.

Posted by: kate07 | June 20, 2008 11:04 PM

The Songster's final comment.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with flip flops that fit.

Posted by: Songster | June 22, 2008 12:04 PM

- to songster

goodnight sweetheart gooood night. da do da do da do da do do do doooo -sha na na

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2008 3:24 PM

blog stats, what's the final tallies?

Posted by: inquiring minds want to know | June 22, 2008 8:39 PM

Thanks ~ its been enlightening.

Posted by: Tilda | June 23, 2008 8:34 AM

Yes, Fred. That was me the other day.

I've been reading the blog occasionally but had to go cold turkey on posting. I was spending too much time here and not buckling down where I needed to.

I'm gainfully employed these days(part-time), though not using my skills in my typical setting. Part-time really is balance for me at this stage.

Leslie, all the best to you. I appreciate what you are doing to keep the discussion going for women and families. Just watch out for those PR departments! ;-)

Really, I think companies deserve kudos for what they do. However, I do get frustrated with the lack of depth in reporting that's so prevalent now. I hope your current and future projects allow you more time for research and analysis.

I'll keep watching for Leslie's work and visit the website. In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy my weekly fix of Judith Warner's Domestic Disturbances on the NYTimes website (no registration these days). It's a moderated site, so while there are repeat posters, the responses are not personal in the way they are in OB. It's a bit of a different angle, but OB readers might enjoy the content.

Best wishes to everyone--I wonder if the Post will continue On Balance with a different contributor. Certainly, the relevance of the broad subject of our discussions hasn't gone away.

Posted by: marian | June 23, 2008 9:41 AM

Fred,

I want to send you and Frieda warm thoughts and hopes that Frieda will not have to bear too many discomforts as she continues through treatments.

I hope that your children are able to be with you and that you'll be able to celebrate improved health for Frieda and put the difficulties of illness in the past very soon.

Posted by: marian | June 23, 2008 10:02 AM

wow - i never post - but read often and the one day i don't - anyhow, i join in the sentiments above - time to be moving along!

Posted by: rj | June 23, 2008 1:33 PM

So I go on vacation, come back online to suggest best car games to pass the time without becoming completely imbalanced and it is light's out! Waaaaaah.

OK, so anybody have any other blogs to suggest?

Thanks Leslie and all of you poseurs... er posters.

bibifn from Stepford CT.

Posted by: Fo3 | June 23, 2008 1:37 PM

Leslie, I am very sad to hear you are moving on. I'm a fellow former Cambridge, MA resident and a huge fan of yours. I would love to carry on the torch, continuing your legacy. How can I apply? www.attacheservices.com

Posted by: MBA Mom | June 23, 2008 2:27 PM

So, I used to post regularly and then changed jobs last fall which severely cut into the amount of time that I had on-line during the day and decided to lurk. I would read maybe once a week, late in the day, but rarely read all the say through the comments before I had to leave, so usually didn't post. And I find out a few days late that the OB is going away. Alas.

Good luck, Leslie. As someone just beginning his parenting journey as a late-in-life Dad, I learned a lot from all of the posters here (especially Fo4). Thanks to all.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | June 23, 2008 5:41 PM

This week's topic on my Mommy Track'd column is Breaking Up with Your Job (with a subplot on Moving for Your Husband's Job). Come visit!

http://www.mommytrackd.com/Breaking-Up-With-Your-Job+#comment-1243

Posted by: Leslie | June 23, 2008 5:54 PM

Tallies are in!

112,898 total comments were submitted by 11,735 different posting names

16,632 were submitted by anonymous trolls

Anybody that submitted 50 or more posts listed below:

Count Poster
_____ ___________________
50 2terrificboys
50 anonforthis
50 Denk
50 Fract'l
50 Jolie
50 Silver Spring
50 Tim
51 Cal Girl
51 Cali Esq
51 CentrevilleMom
51 Chiclet
51 Dlyn
51 Elaine
51 Wow
52 dennis5
52 literarygirl
52 Marie
52 NewName2
52 shdd
52 Tracy
54 RedBird27
54 YetAnotherSAHM...
55 AG
55 Another Librarianmom
55 Lynne
55 tsp 2007
57 Alexandria Mom
57 dcdesigner
57 Father of 3
57 KB Silver Spring
57 MV
57 RaiseYourOwnKids
57 to Scarry
58 Brian
58 J
58 lulu
58 Melissa
58 Melt
58 Pink Plate
58 RebeccainAR
58 rockvillemom
59 randommom
59 spunky
61 Dave
61 Fairfax
61 FutureMom
61 granny
62 Monagatuna
62 Morgan
62 TS
64 Bexie
64 Capitol Hill mom
64 lindab
64 Mr. EstrogenCentral
64 Ryan
66 Betty
66 lurker
68 Anon for Today
68 Anonymous
68 Bookworm Mom
68 mj
68 Rebecca in AR
69 ilc
69 Lil_Husky
69 MBA Mom
69 Random Guy
69 Rita
69 Wilbrod
70 LM in WI
70 PunditMom
72 Childless by Choice
72 Get Real
73 Anne
73 anon mom
73 chemguy1157
73 MaryB
73 Vegas Mom
75 newhere
75 The original just a th
75 VAMom
76 aging mom
76 Catwhowalked
76 tntkate
77 dlm79
77 jen
77 WAMC
79 Catherine
79 lawgirl
79 vegasmom89109
80 Bethesdan
80 Billie_R
80 Observer
82 Ajax
82 anonfornow
82 DZ
83 Brian Reid
83 equal
83 kattoo
83 LC
84 educmom__615
84 GutlessCoward
84 mcewen
87 daves000
88 DC lurker
90 FloridaChick
90 lpsteiner
91 xyz
94 johnl
94 Rufus
97 Curious
97 just a thought
97 WDC
99 Thought
101 Marian
104 June
104 typical working mother
106 abu_ibrahim
106 Chasmosaur
109 me
111 Matt in Aberdeen
111 Stacey
112 DC
112 YetAnotherSAHM
113 Demos
113 JS
113 s
113 SAHMbacktowork
115 Arlmom
116 College Parkian
117 Rebecca
119 Friend
120 Bob
122 215
122 gcoward
122 Glover Park
122 worker bee
126 Liz D
126 Neighbor
127 Dad of 2
127 SS
128 Armchair Mom
128 Older Dad
130 Working Dad
131 Thierry
133 anne.saunders
134 marc
135 Huh?
137 Liz
140 Mr.Honda
141 MdMother
144 m
149 parttimer
151 working mother
153 Irishgirl74
155 Father of 2
155 Mako
155 the original anon
157 Songster
159 Cal
159 CC
159 John Q
159 Maria
162 Lou
163 A Dad
164 JKR
175 Alex. Mom
175 fabworkingmom
180 Divorced mom of 1
181 londonmom
182 atb2
185 THS
189 quark
193 leslie4
195 single western mom
198 catmommy
200 ProudPapa15
202 _Miles
203 educmom_615
204 Army Brat
204 maryland_mother
206 KB
207 Kate
207 Rockville Mom
209 niner
210 pepperjade
211 Sue
213 bababooey666
216 theoriginalmomof2
220 John L
220 Sam
220 Shandra
225 Lieu
227 mn.188
231 hillary
233 NewSAHM
235 TakomaMom
235 Texas Dad of 2
238 Ms L
240 DadWannaBe
246 RoseG
253 Irishgirl
258 moxiemom1
260 Proud Papa
264 Arlington Dad
290 single mom
298 DandyLion
308 Product of a Working M
318 MattInAberdeen
325 KLB_SS_MD
334 Fo3
347 LizaBean
373 John
383 dotted_1
383 Megan's Neighbor
394 babsy1
397 anon
455 Missicat
467 experienced mom
467 momof4
478 chittybangbang
479 atb
481 rockville
486 Lizzie
521 Chris
591 catlady
609 MN
633 Mona
648 atlmom1234
757 WorkingMomX
758 pittypat
767 moxiemom
775 armybrat
805 atlmom
855 NC lawyer
982 cmac
1044 dotted
1058 Meesh
1073 Laura
1102 mehitabel
1154 Father of 4
1202 Leslie
1433 Megan
1568 foamgnome
1580 KLB SS MD
1748 Emily
1817 Scarry
1973 Fred
2140 pATRICK

Posted by: Blog Stats | June 23, 2008 8:15 PM

Good Luck Leslie. And to repeat a sentiment I read in these posts...thanks for putting yourself out there. There were a lot of controversial issues discussed here, but it is through true, open dialogue that we learn from one another. But it takes a brave soul to get the masses talking.

Thanks and all the best.

Posted by: HappyDad | June 24, 2008 9:58 AM

I can't believe it's the end of on balance. I will definitely check out Mommy Track'd. I learned so much here and quoted things I read here constantly. Thanks so much Leslie!

Posted by: montgomery village md mom | June 24, 2008 4:28 PM

Oh no--I'm sorry to hear it! Good luck on your book! Do you think the Post will get someone else to do a similar blog? Or would nobody else be willing to endure the daily abuse? ;)

Posted by: Maggie | June 25, 2008 11:30 AM

Parenting blogs I enjoy are Babble.com and MyGeekBaby.com.

Posted by: onbalance reader | June 25, 2008 3:35 PM

how will we get by without our Leslie to guide us? this is just such surprising news. But I know the new book will be an eye-opener. Best of luck Leslie!

Posted by: ritamae | June 30, 2008 11:28 AM

Oh God, I step away for a few weeks to have a kid and on balance ends. Best of luck Leslie. I look forward to reading your new book. BTW, son was born a few weeks ago. All was well. He was 7 lbs 13.5 ozs and 20" long. Nursing well ( if only we could get him to sleep through the night). Funny note, in laws sent the sage green diaper bag and sleep sac a few weeks ago. Bye to all. We will miss our coffee chats.

Posted by: foamgnome | July 4, 2008 5:48 PM

Congratulations, Foamy!!!! I am glad all is well with you and your little boy. I am so happy for you, and glad that you gave us the news. I am sure baby boy will be sleeping through the night very soon. The first few weeks are rough, but in hindsight, anyway, they fly by. Good luck and congratuations!!!!

Posted by: Emily | July 7, 2008 11:39 AM

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