See, here’s the thing.
When I started this site, (May of 08) I was kind of like an alien landing from Mars in the Blogosphere. In fact, I didn’t know there WAS a blogosphere. I just knew I was working on selling a book, I needed a website, the designer I loved (Hi Jenny! Waving.) said self-hosted WordPress was a good point of entry.
Frankly, she could have said Jibba-jabba wonk wonk and I would have nodded along- that’s how much I knew. But I picked a theme and graphics and looked at other blogs to see what kind of widgety-thingies seemed to be going on over there, so my blog wasn’t a nakey new baby. I wanted it to have the bloggy things that were de rigeur. In fact, I believe that’s how I acquired a Twitter account- in my new planet research, there seemed to be a lot of this thing called the Tweeting. I thought it was a requirement passed along in Blogger School. You know, where you get the secret handshakes.
Little did I know that on my new planet, there were existing tribes and communities and stories. And people. Not avatars, but like PEOPLE people. And I fell in love a little bit more every day, reading their stories and loving them and commenting on them.
The other week at Red Robin, I played Miss Pacman for the first time in a long time. My husband laughed at me from the table, because Miss Pacman is kind of a full body sport for me. I twist and turn, willing her to rush through the tunnels, controlling the sticky joystick FROM the core, as it’s so much more responsive that way. Frankly, I’m a dork for Miss Pacman.
My daughter wanted in on this- who could blame her?
So I hoisted her little five year old body up. I realized how very substantial she’s getting, and how seldom I need to lift her anymore. I supported her weight as she earnestly tried to navigate the dangerous maze that IS Miss Pacman.
And I realized how very many things there are to know about even the very simplest new thing. The bullets must be eaten. The fruits must be chased. The pellets must be secured to de-fang the ghosts, but then you must Hurry! Before they flash back to their house and come to get you. There are secret tunnels, but you must know where all the ghosts are before they go in- or they may get you when you think they’re safest.
Within 45 seconds, the quarters were finished and her shoulders slumped. “I guess you’re just way better at that game than me, Mommy.”
And I had to get down and look her in the eyes and say, “You JUST learned it, honey. It’s new. But next time, it won’t be new. There are things about it you’ll never have to learn again. AND you killed a ghost! You actually rocked it.”
And she smiled, as she enjoys being a ghost killer.
I have had the benefit of so much blogger largess, from plug-in tips to four hour phone chats about god knows what. WIth every person I’ve met in real life that I first knew online, the avatars shifted into 3-D, and my new planet became a little bit less lonely. I started to feel as though I knew my own zip code and could maybe find the grocery store.
I’ve always loved getting the mail, because from childhood, the mailbox symbolized an outside world. It had power. It was how I told the world what I wanted, and waited for a response. I ordered my Charlie Chaplin ventroliquist doll through it, and waited for the requisite 6-9 weeks for delivery. I invited Ronald Reagan and his Secret Service detail for supper, praising my mother’s crabcakes, and still have the framed response. (Unfortunately, for National Security reasons, it was a no.)
I just never knew what might be in that mailbox in response to some long ago idea I’d pursued via my pen and camp stationery. (I STILL think the Washington Post missed the boat on dissing the advice column I pitched at twelve.:)
Blogging is like that on crazy steroids. I didn’t know or expect that. The lovely serendipity and variety and experiences having an online home has given me have been such a precious gift. And the people. Man, you guys have changed my world in so many ways I can’t even tell you. And I love you for it.
Being at three conferences this month have made me reflect on the different values people get from communities, and the value that they seek. But it all coalesced for me last night as I sat here at Mom 2.0 in Houston, by the book booth, far past when I ought to have gone to bed.
I read the Kirtsy book from cover to cover (I’m buying it too, no worries!:) and I just started crying as I read. Because I saw a piece of my own experience in every page. The mother who learned of her baby’s issues during a sonogram- I’ve heard that silence suck all the comfort out of a room, when my 1st baby was diagnosed with Turner’s Syndrom and stillborn at 27 weeks. The fears of not being a good enough mother, of not having enough time to do all the necessary things properly, but knowing that THIS IS THAT THING THAT MATTERS Oh my god this is the thing we care about most ever. Our babies. And we love them, but they take everything and a bag of chips.
And this place, this bloggy place, is where we get to show glimpses of who we were. And where people get who we are now. And where we all understand that it won’t always be this way. Because everything is transient, and one day we won’t be mommy bloggers. One day, god willing if we’re lucky, we’ll be grandmother bloggers. Or millionaire owners of real estate on Mars.
But while I’m still in the company of moms, lulled in a sea of voices where the cadence is familiar and warm and so, so comforting (And smart! Did I say smart yet?) I wanted to say Thanks, y’all. Thank you for sharing your stories and your pictures and your FlickR streams and your families and basically, your hearts. For putting the thing you care about most in the world out there and discussing what it means to be a mother and a woman every day, with all the nuances and topics and angles.
Thank you for blogging. Or, if you’re reading this and you’re not a blogger (HI, MOM!) thank you for supporting blogs. (Now, go sign up on Blogger or something and get to work!)
And thanks for making a martian kid feel at home.
And if you’re a blogger, how has it changed your life?
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