It started as a non-joke joke.
You know the type. It’s when you say something you really mean but maybe you think it’s too far-fetched, offensive or vulgar, so you pose it as a joke. Then if the person/people on the other side of the non-joke joke take the bait, well, you were half serious all along!
I’m really glad that Ilene and Michelle (and eventually Stephanie) took the bait.
The blogging connections I have made since early 2013 are pretty much priceless. I have a lot more joy in my life than I ever thought possible from the simple act of joining a blogging community, and then being introduced to many overlapping and blogging friends of blogging friends, and so on. I love the way it is right now, and I love knowing that there are more of you out there that I’ll “meet” through blogging, and still others more that I will inevitably meet in real life. Last week’s idea started as a daydream, to be honest.
Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life lives in southern New England like I do. Ilene from The Fierce Diva Guide To Life could get to us, before a major life change is about to happen for her. As a surprise, Stephanie from So, I’ve Been Thinking.. isn’t so far either.
And suddenly, we found ourselves with a plan, and then a beautiful reality:
(photo by Michelle’s daughter using Michelle’s camera) Clockwise from top left: Stephanie, Me, Des, Michelle, Ilene.
I did not bring Scarlet to this. In some ways I wish I had, but she was sick and having a blast with her Grandma.
I talk often, whether here or in person, about the power of adult friendships. I was stunned by the experience of making friends through having babies at the same time at my Beyond Birth group at the hospital. It’s such a time of life. You may or may not see your friends’ boobs on the first play date. You may or may not be un-showered or in sweats or struggling or heavier (in pounds) than ever. You may be asking for help, right off the bat. And I’m not talking about borrowing a cup of sugar. Really powerful stuff.
Then the babies get older, and some of the friendships drift away. You keep the ones you want to hang out with when your kids hang out. You keep the ones you trust. With your kids. With yourself. The number gets lower than originally, but a steady amount stay.
New ones form inevitably with school. Without a “normal” workplace for me, I wondered if I’d make new friends through something other than my kids. I just never knew how it could come from blogging, of all things. Kids are involved, sure, but we were here first.
I know what it is, I think. And I’m ok not having all of the answers too. Why question a good thing? I may not see many of you in person, but I can see your hearts. We all meet from the inside out. Weakness shows, when we allow it. Overwhelming beauty, wonder and wisdom does too. We may laugh and cry with each other on any given day. This is where we choose to be.
And I choose you. Yes, you. (and you, and you, and you!)
I could tell you all about it. How I drove up to Michelle’s (lovely) house and how I didn’t know I was at the right place at first. And then she answered the door and I knew right away, although she was prettier than in gravatars (who knew?!) and had a different voice than I imagined. I met her wonderful kids – who are unfortunately not in my photos. I could tell you that standing in the kitchen of a blogger who I’ve never missed a post from was like standing in a book. Everyone became real as unknown puzzle pieces fit together.
And then there was calling Ilene a “babe.” I was really embarrassed about it and I hoped she had forgotten about it, but no, you don’t forget that, do you? No matter how many photos you see of a person, or how many posts you read, you’re not fully prepared. Since I had no idea what her voice sounded like, I was surprised that she sounded like my old friend, Jana. Jana is someone that people always look at it and say, “She’s a babe.” It’s NOT a word I ever use but I blurted out, “Oh, you’re a babe like my friend, Jana!“
Hopelessly, tragically uncool. It’s totally not how I talk. I meant it, but, you don’t just meet someone and call them a babe, do you?
(Des thought so too.)
I could say so much more. About meeting Stephanie as a surprise after I had just read a post of hers that really resonated with me. I could talk about the kids meeting, or the adults meeting the kids, or the good luck of a ladybug by the pool, or a million other things..
..but I think I’ll let the photos take this story home.
(Des is the lucky, but unshown Peek-a-boo receiver)
I trust this nine-year-old with Des more than I trust many adults I know…
What’s it been like for you, to meet bloggers in real life? If you ever meet me in real life, will you let me take a zillion photos?