This post is going to run the risk of getting all sentimental (and there is a glass of wine at my right hand as I type this), but I am just so touched and honored and excited about the very real connections I've made over the last year and a bit with some of you amazing bloggers.
When I was a girl, I had a lot of pen pals. In France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and several US states. Most of them were with other children (and later teens) that I never met in person. But we learned and shared so much through those letters. It was such a meaningful experience for me -- so much so, that I still have all the letters in a box at my parents'.
Fast forward 15 years, to blogging. Today was a super hard day for me. The house hunting is not going well. It seems that everything we can afford is just ... well, not really appropriate for a family. When it says "perfect for students" in the ad, that's a bad sign. Or when you step into a house and you're pretty sure there's dried vomit on the wall. We looked at five houses today, and not one of them was anywhere I'd feel comfortable with my children running around in. Indoors or out. But my day was sweetened so, so very much by a silly (in the best of ways) back-and-forth exchange with Kirsten about Pride and Prejudice. It was nice, after looking for hours at the same house listed over and over again on all the different websites, to pop into my email and have something to laugh about. So, thank you, Kirsten.
And then there was the sweet package, in more than one way, sent by Emily last week for Valentine's Day. My children were over the moon about the little packets of goodies just for them. And she sent the marshmallows (above), which were so light and fluffy and pillowy and sweet and just everything a marshmallow should be. And then, she sent these beautiful goccoed cards. I tucked one into my husband's bag before he left town on Friday, and he was not only glad to have a note from me while he was away (I admit that I do this every time he goes out of town, though), but he was also amazed by the card. He knows what's good. And I was blown away by Emily's generosity and sweetness and just the amazing goodness of having met her.
There is the criticism about blogging -- saying that when we spend time building relationships with "computer friends" and living in "virtual worlds", we're not building relationships with people in our real lives, or living in our own real worlds. I understand this point. I really do. But I have to say that blogging, for me, has been a way to motivate myself in my actual life (would I have anything great to share here if I weren't really doing it?), and honestly, we are living in a world that is becoming more and more technolically-driven. Whether we like it or not, "community" is coming to be defined in different ways. So, no, I don't know Emily and Kirsten "in the flesh." But these were real connections, that I really needed in that exact moment, I'll add. Blogging friends are real friends.
So, thank you wonderful blogging friends. For your lovely comments that make me smile or pick me up when I'm having a down day. For all of your inspiring blogs, and the commitment that it takes to keep them up. I would just love to share a cup of hot chocolate with one of Emily's marshmallows in it with you right now. Except they're all eaten up. ;)