Friday, January 21, 2011

a word about gifts


This is the wonder of the internet: to have this thing you need, or want to know, or you're looking for affirmation for some kind of feeling and you just feel like there is no way, no way on this green earth that you're going to find it. It was like that with Alice's blanket Bo. He was given to us as a gift, a gift long before she'd even made her entrance into the world. And by the time their relationship had developed (Bo of the Magical Soothing Powers, Bo of the Wonderful Blanket Smell, Bo of the Soft Sweet Fibers, Bo Wish We All Had One) - it's not like I could find a back-up in the stores anywhere.

All of this at the time when I was struggling with all those New Mother Things: the nursing and the all-organic-crazy-or-not and the sleep issues and the hand wringing and all the...stuff. The stuff that we throw out on the internet in the winging crazy hope that someone will understand. Someone will have answers or sympathy or both. Day in and day out, someone did. One of you would log in to The Creamery and would remind me that I wasn't crazy, and then you'd offer gifts of hope. They were like small white feathers of a bird high overhead, your words would remind me to look up, to have faith, to breathe. Many times they would make me laugh out loud. Or I would cry in gratitude to have found a small section of the internet world that accepted me as I was. I came to the internet to write. To share stories. And I ended up making friends.

It will be four years this year, four years since I started this blog called The Creamery. This space has seen its fair share of sadness and loss, and I'm sorry to say it has seen a little bit of angst and anger and meanness. I've tried hard to keep The Creamery shielded from ugly things, but the truth is, that ugliness is out there in so many forms, lurking right outside our windows. It's going to peek in from time to time. It's going to be attracted to the warmth from the kitchen. I've seen some familiar faces come and go--- faces dear and loved don't visit here anymore, whether it's my doing or a simple lack of interest or just limited heart/mind/time space, it doesn't matter. I miss every one of those faces. Every one. And there are some of you so new here, so squeaky clean to The Creamery's interior, you have quietly stood by and listened and lurked, maybe fearing that you're not welcome (but you are, you really truly are). Then there are you dear ones who have visited long and well, who have watched Bean grow and marveled over her days. You have offered comfort when it was sorely needed. You have become my friends.

There have been rough moments during the last several months, a jumbled cocktail of worry and repetition that, over time, rubbed me raw. Things that once upon a time wouldn't have phased me are now wriggling in the back of my mind like stray pieces of sand. And I've become increasingly preoccupied with this mysterious group of people who come to visit here at The Creamery but leave so quietly, leave no trace other than the faint shadow of their site meter stat. I have worried over your presence, that's the truth--- worried probably more than I ought--- wondering what I could do to welcome your being here, or, quite frankly, wondering if The Creamery was a concept better left to these first early few years of Bean's life. I've considered the possibility that maybe it's time to finally close these doors and turn off the kitchen light.

Enter Sarah from Indiana (hello Sarah!). I had posted something about Alice's Bo - how I've never been able to find a back-up blanket. I have never done a decent job of explaining just how worrisome a woobie-without-a-replacement is. Especially when the woobier (woobier? woobie-ite? woobie-onian?) is a child who has the particular trouble of coughing until she vomits. At night. The closest I've come is telling you that I've developed a pretty decent case of Post Traumatic Stress surrounding the evening hours anytime Alice is sick. I get a twitching tick in my eye (truly). You just don't know until you've lived it. Sarah's email was this: Hey, we have one of those blankets if you want it. What do you say?


And as we exchanged emails about addresses and particulars I considered dear Sarah from Indiana: a girl I've never met, someone who has never commented, someone whom I know virtually nothing about. But apparently, she visits The Creamery, and she cared enough about my plight to offer a solution.

Sometimes hope comes in the form of a blog comment. Sometimes it comes in the form of an email. Or a surprise phone call from an old friend. Sometimes hope is a blanket from Indiana. It tells you that you aren't alone, that this late night vigil you keep is kept by other mothers across the planet. These mothers might be silent at times, but they are listening. And they are reading.

I'm keeping The Creamery open. I would miss this warm space. I'd miss all the gifts of hope. And I'd miss you.

Thank you, Sarah, for everything.


Amanda said...

What a beautiful post!

My son had a habit of changing is favorite item once per year or so until he was five. I have a collection of completely ratty loved upon lovies and their in-beautiful-shape back-ups. I love them all. His current ZOMG LOVE lovie (yes he's nine) is a stuffed zebra. There is no comparing the ratty smelly floppy oh so loved Zeeb to his soft plush gorgeous counterpart Zelda. hehehe - the things we do for our kiddos

Mrs. Irritation said...

I'm so sad that we donated our blanket like this before I knew about Alice's Bo. Booo!!! I'm so glad you were able to find another.

Rose said...

Incredible! I'm glad you were ably to found a decoy! Now hopefully you will be able to get to sleep sooner at night.

ixBeths said...

There was a cassette tape (CASSETTE) that Kieran loved so much when he was little that we played it until it could play no more. Every time we'd get in the car, he'd ask for it, and it'd break my heart because there was no explaining to him that it was "broken" or "gone" or anything. He wanted it; we listened to it all the time; he loved it with all his heart; he fell asleep to it nightly.

And then I found a replacement on ebay someone was selling for like $.95. I almost wanted to write him a thank you, tell him how much that stupid $.95 cassette would mean to my little boy. But then I thought better of it, so as not to sound like a lunatic.

This is a great tribute to friends known and unknown, and to the Creamery. Please don't close your doors. You're one of my first and favorite things in the morning.

Bird said...

First: Fussbot coughed until he vomited last night and in the midst of all of the cleaning and such, I totally thought of you and alice.

Second: Yes. I came to write, to record, to work through the thoughts in my head and then there were friends and I didn't expect it but am greatful that they (you) were there at the other end of the computer.

Yay for Sarah!

Andrea said...

My son had a single, irreplacable blankie too...and then left it in the church nursery. We were so lucky to find a replacement. I know what you mean. I'm very glad you're going to keep writing.

Chadillac said...

Often a mysterious shadow stat, I decided I didn't want to be one today. Just lettin' you know I'm here today.

Julie said...

I'm one of your mysterious lurkers, connected like Kevin Bacon via Angela, who I work with and greatly admire. Her blog led me to your blog, and your writing and thought processes keep me coming back.
I don't have children, nor am I married, so what, you may ask, is the appeal of your story? First off, you have a true way with words, and each time I read your blog I am enchanted by a turn of phrase or a departure of your mind. Your life is interesting, but more than that, you are engaged, unique, and willing to share that for what it's worth with others. I admire that.
I actually find it very odd that I'm vested in a blog (and life?) of a total stranger. It's not my style. But something keeps me coming back.
And, you're right, it's not fair that I get all the benefit of the read, yet you get nothing if you don't know, for sure, that I'm out here. I am, and the juggles, challenges, and joys of your life somehow, in some weird way, add to mine. Glad you're not shutting off the lights...but I can't promise that I won't go back to lurking...

Tamara said...

I know ths story of the blanket well. We have found a replacement, but it's a funny one because it is not the same size nor the same color. What they have it common is the same soft velour feel and "the tag". I'm not sure what it is with the tag, but when he holds it he needs to put his finger through the tag or hold or something. He'll say, "Mom, help me find my tag." So I must round all the corners until I find it for him to hold on to.

tearese said...

yeah, some random person who read my blog when I was in Everett, ended up living in the next place I moved. It was so strange!
FYI, on stat counters, I think it says my location is Nebraska or something. Just so you know its not a stalker.