Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blogging For Friends

The Boss and Annabel

Photo by toyfoto

Sometimes making friends is easy. When both parties to something potentially amicable are open and fearless, then striking up a friendship can be a breeze. Other times, the direction of the wind isn't so favorable.

The Boss has a propensity for close human interaction that I lack. Maybe that's the difference between 3 and 30. She is now building the relationships that I've been coasting on for decades. My best friends were all made during childhood--as a toddler at parties with the children of my parent's friends, then in elementary school, then high school, then college. Now the legacies of those years are scattered across the country. I keep in touch as best a phone-phobic person like myself can. But when I get together with those tried and true friends (with varying degrees of regularity), it's like old times.

Now, when I make an acquaintance, it seems I don't know how to bridge the divide between old times and new. I want a friendship with history even though I've not only forgotten how to make history happen, but I've lost track of the time it takes. I see other women in my mother's group become fast friends and I wonder why I'm not that close to any of them. Is it because I don't like to talk on the phone? Is it because I have nothing to say, anyway? Is it because I'm not fun, or am too opinionated, or because I think my shit doesn't stink? I mean, do I smell?

In the blogosphere, it's easier to get to know people. I put myself out there in posts and if someone reads my blog regularly, it's probably because there's something about me they can relate to. If I read their blog as well, a circle is formed. Without actual events shared in real life, history can evolve. And it has, in several cases. There are bloggers I've never met on the terrestrial plane but with whom I know I would love to hang out. It wouldn't be awkward. We already know too much about each other to waste time with filler. We'd get right to the good stuff.

I proved it last weekend when I went to visit Toyfoto with The Partner, The Boss, and Number Two in tow. I already knew the writer of Ittybits & Pieces to be smart, funny, talented and thoughtful. I've been reading her blog for almost two years now (can it really be that long?). When she invited us up, even her warnings about their incontinent dog didn't give me pause.

One would not have guessed that our feet never crossed paths before Saturday. Between our two families of four, we had plenty to do and plenty to talk about. Our husbands, even though they didn't have blogs on which to base the rapport, got along well. Our girls had the kind of fun that resulted in the kind of strife only two headstrong pre-schoolers can bring upon themselves. Our little boys either sat there being cute (mine) or toddled around being cute (hers).

With children and goats running amok amidst the fall foliage in one of my favorite corners of the northeast, I was relieved to find out that I can still make friends. And my thanks must go in part to the Internet*.

Photo by toyfoto

*which, by the way, Toyfoto's 102-year old grandfather-in-law helped invent.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Filling Up the Six Pack

Number Two is preparing to join the world on the move. He's not crawling yet; he's not quite sitting on his own. But he's been set in motion.

He throws himself from his bouncer like a blond midget kamikaze, then hangs upside-down from his lap belt until I right him again. He repeated the act four times just this morning. Still, I'm not ready to face the idea that my baby has outgrown his first recliner.

The Boss was keen to the incongruity the first time she saw her brother pull himself to a full sitting position on that very bouncer. She glanced twice at him, then once at me.

"Look, mom," she said, her voice strange in its confusion. "His head is standing."

I looked, just like she told me to. And it was so very, very odd to see him like that. He wasn't just there. He wasn't crying. He wasn't sleeping or eating. His eyes weren't everywhere; instead, they were fixed. He was flexing abdominal muscles in expression of his fiercest desire to date. He was reaching up without holding on.

Number Two is getting ready to go places.

Number Two relaxes after a strenuous set of crunches.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My Baby, Brought to You By the Internet

This is what our baby would look like if The Partner and I did not produce offspring that refuse to acknowledge my existence in any of their bodily features:

For the first time, I'm thankful that our actual children are not our composites. We don't look so hot when merged.

Go make your own baby online! It's not as much fun as having sex but it's a lot less painful than childbirth.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

To Be Three Years Old

The Boss has grabbed on to the same cold I recently acquired. Its main manifestation is a hoarse voice. Yesterday, I asked her how she was doing as I walked her out the door after a day at pre-school.

"I'm doing well." The small rasp of her voice was matter-of-fact. I was already chuckling to myself at the grammatical maturity of her statement when she propelled herself to even higher levels of coherence. "The only problem," she told me through the phlegm, "is that I can't speak normally."

At times like that I am impressed with her intellect. On other occasions, like when she decides she would rather sleep in a tangle of pee-soaked sheets than inform me she wet the bed, I am less overcome by her mental prowess.

Through it all, though, I continue to be amazed by the human being unfolding before me--even when the creases release the odor of hours-old urine.

At three, she is her own strange person and her parents' enigma. At three, she is stinkin' smart.