I’m kind of loving the Mommy Blogs lately. I don’t have a damn thing in common with any of the women who write them, and I find the kids frankly annoying, but I just love their appreciation for the moments. The fractions. The days. The hours. They remind me to breathe. And they remind me that there are lives, some of them quite happy, in the houses that I pass every day on my way to run, or wherever I’m going that seems so important.
My favorite right now is Joy Unexpected. If this woman came up to me and slapped me, I’d have no idea who she is, yet I know her daughter farted and told her to upload it to YouTube, which is just awesome. There’s something just hilarious and post-modernly strange about that. Knowing the details but not the big picture, which I think is the opposite of how we get to know each other in real life.
And by the way, does anyone even meet in real life anymore? Frankly I’m starting to wonder. I went to Starbucks the other day and honestly did not notice even another person in the place. But if someone leaves a comment on my blog, I know. This, plus the fact that I’m just terribly anti-social these days, makes me wonder if human beings maybe were not meant to be all up in each other’s faces. Maybe safely behind a keyboard is where we belong.
I think the reason I started reading the Mommy Blogs is because I was beginning to feel like there was no such thing as real life anymore. It was all political opinion and argument. I love political opinion and arguing, but there must be more. Of course, people have families and real lives. Since I don’t, I sort of forget that is the thing that is missing. That’s why catching bin Laden is important and why jobs numbers are more than a chart in some bureaucrat’s office. And that life is nice to glimpse, sometimes, even from far away.
There’s a stupid side to the Mommy Blogs too. Some are just ridiculous – just as there are ridiculous political blogs – and some are lame. It is silly to see 36-year old women fighting on blogs about whose kid did what at the soccer game. That, I can skip. But the good ones manage to make me smile, even through a little envious sadness.
I will never have what they have. I don’t mean children, exactly… or “just” children. I mean something larger. That life – the life we’re taught to expect.
I have something else. In many ways, what I have is better than anything they have. But sometimes, when the light strikes the golden memory chords of my psyche and I suddenly remember I’m supposed to have a family, a house on a suburban street, a husband.
It is so easy to forget, to simply become someone for whom those things are not accessible. It happened so gradually to me that I didn’t even realize it. I do not dream of that life – it is like dreaming of being a cat. It’s too foreign to me, I don’t even know where I would start.
In my day-to-day existence, I forget that people actually have that and that I am supposed to want it. I even forget that I was, in fact, built to want it with chemicals and body parts and propensities for caregiving hardwired into my body, factory-installed, right out of the box.
I just forgot to live that life. It is as far away as a mining outpost on Mars. I can call to it but it would never hear me.
I have this life.
I am content here. There is good air to breathe.
But once in a while, I allow myself to peek in on the other kind of life, the kind that is more common and better understood by most people: the sweetness of it is instinctive. To glimpse and wonder what happened to the girl who grew up thinking that would be mine, and was replaced by the person who can only experience it like looking through a snowglobe.
A dazzling, beautiful snowglobe. I just can’t get inside it.
I thank the people who share, who so graciously attempt to communicate with someone who is fundamentally an outsider. Such graciousness, in other times, would be called a blessing.