bon sparked a conversation over at BlogRhet about taking vacations and becoming unplugged, even just for a little while. Since I’ve been a vocal fan of raising babies without TV, and limiting it for toddlers and preschoolers, her words really struck a chord with me. Yes, I want my baby boys to live life, to learn to amuse themselves, to become the creative kid who makes up stories and ties string around a dowel and calls it a fishing pole, who builds their own fun and is completely satisfied without the latest gadget or toy or video game system. But yes, I also find myself in front of the computer at odd hours, blogging away during naptime or after the kids go to bed, and I doubt at this point I’d be able to stop cold turkey.
I wouldn’t want to try.
But I think — I think — that’s because I’ve found something of real value here, that I suspect many of you have found as well.
I’ve found a community.
I’m amazed and overwhelmed at the depth of this community, as I find new blogs every day (or you find me) that blow me away with their wisdom, their humor, their insights into the minutae of daily life that reveal our innermost selves. I feel as if I’ve stepped through the looking glass and found a treasure trove (to mix my metaphors) of womenfolk waiting, blogging, each of us at our own computers and during our own children’s naptime, or respite from housework, or spare moment at the office, to discuss, to banter, to reminisce, and to offer a hug when it is needed most.
It’s hard to explain my affection for blogging and blogfriends to those not intimately familiar with it, but I think it goes something like this.
I’ve always been sure to have a metaphorical and physical space for my own work. A place where I felt comfortable spreading out, reading, writing, and leaving things on the table when I’m done. The Room of One’s Own that Virginia Woolf described has been critical to my thinking and writing throughout the years.
But blogging. Blogging is even better. Blogging is the window in the room.
It’s as if one day last August I walked into my room, turned on the lamp, and suddenly noticed the window on the far wall, where none had been before. When I opened the curtains, the room was flooded with light and warmth, and I could hear a chorus of voices spilling through. I looked out, and discovered an amazing view — not the restful mountains or the popular beach — but a courtyard, filled with children of all ages, laughing, playing, crying, inventing, growing up together, and a sea of other windows — moms — each in a room of their own, writing their own lives, but pausing intermittently to check on the children and to be inspired by them and the women who love them. The windows are close enough that we can call to each other on the spring breezes when we are stuck, when we have something to celebrate, when we have something to mourn.
And it’s a beautiful way to live.
It means even more to me now, as I spend my days unplugged with my kids when I can (the hammock in my back yard is lovely this time of year), but retreat to my room and the view that my bloglines provide when I cannot. Although I haven’t really left the house since my last treatment, thanks to my blogfriends, I have been to Mauritania, to Singapore, to Israel, to an Ethiopian orphanage, to Australia, all over the U.S., Europe, and Canada, and to see a couple of my best friends nearly every day.
As I approach my first blogiversary, my 300th post, and my 3000th comment, I am once again overwhelmed with gratitude and love for you guys. Gals. Internets. Unplug? No way.
If when I finally get to go on vacation again, you’re coming with me.