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10 May

You Gotta a Friend (and a contest!)

New and Improved Epic Edition

*Now with pictures!!! Because WonderBaby is a sweet, sweet addiction…
*And further notes on The Great Mom/Mommy/Mama Blogger Love-In of 2006!
*And a somber addendum.

It is the post that NEVER ENDS…!


The other day, I was provoked by this post, which raised a lot of interesting observations and questions about friendship and judgment, subjects on which I have at least a half dozen emotionally-charged and pedantic (because I can do both! At once!) partially drafted posts that have been abandoned because of the aforementioned emotional-chargedness and pedantry (which, trust me, you do not want to see, because, um, any post in which I segue madly between Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, The Velveteen Rabbit, Jacques Derrida and that episode of Friends where Monica and Rachel start smacking each other and then Phoebe grabs them both by the hair and calls them her bitches is a bit much, even for me, which is a saying a lot. A LOT.)

So, I was talking about this great post, which challenged me with this statement: I don’t know if it’s possible to become heart-friends with somebody without seeing her face as she laughs at you or tells you that she loves you.

I think that we all probably have different understandings of what a heart-friend is. I know who my own heart-friends are in real life: that very small group of human beings who I’ve variously lived with, grown up with, danced with, drunk with, sung along to Patsy Cline with, cursed with, sniffed cherry blossoms and peonies with, co-authored academic papers with, discussed reality TV (unironically) with, drunk with, made babies with, laughed with, and cried with. Those human beings with whom I’ve been living the best and the worst and the most precious moments of my life.

(Yes, I just sacrificed good grammar for the sake of that syntax-mangled run-on sentence. For the rhythm of language! For friendship! That’s how committed I am!)

The best and the worst and the most precious moments of my life. So many of these, now, are being shared with people that I have never met face-to-face. People who are also sharing some of their best and worst and most precious moments with me. People with whom I am sharing tears and laughter and curses and random thoughts on big and small ideas and a disdain for Tom Cruise. People who, when I opened up about depression and losing my teaching contract and the terrible feelings that come with having been pushed aside for reasons relating to the overwhelming smackdown new motherhood can be, commiserated and commented and share their own stories and sent sympathetic e-mails and rose up against the meanies who had started throwing sand around in my sandbox.

Good people. Good mothers. Good women. Women (and some men) with whom, I think, I could be friends. Good friends.

And then I think, are they not, some of them, many of them, friends already? These are women whose presence in my world – even if that world unfolds partially on the flickering screen of a laptop computer – make that world a richer, fuller world. They make that world a better place, a much better place.

So even though I don’t see their faces when I laugh or cry or commiserate with them, they are friends.

(Pause for dramatic effect. Cue cheesy Whitney Houston song.)

Which is why, when my spies told me that my crazy blogtard (nope, no linkage) was running a contest to find the Worst KoolAid Mom (still no linkage), I got really, really mad. These be my friends you slaggin,’ yo. And because, um? Apart from the general slavish evilness of the whole enterprise, holding a which-mommyblogger-sucks-most contest that culminates on Mothers Day Weekend is like putting a bounty on Santa’s head and scheduling the execution for Christmas Eve. But because nothing good ever comes from futile anger at ressentiment-fueled Last Men, I decided that the best use for my energies was to do something positive.

So I am announcing my own contest, which is not so much a contest as it is a call-to-celebration. This is a summons for love letter posts to your bloggy friends – the bloggers you love or think that you’re gonna love or that you maybe just wanna fool around with a bit – to be tossed around the Internet in a big, kissy, KoolAid slurping, mommyblog-loving frenzy in which we all get celebrated as Mothers of the Week. So: sometime between now and Mother’s Day (Sunday), write a post about the women in the blogosphere that have made some difference in your world. It doesn’t have to focus on just one blogger (I don’t know that I’ll be able to restrict my celebratory post to just one blogger), but you absolutely must single out the objects of your celebration and give them lots of linky love. And if you want to write about how Dooce or Amalah or some other supa-stah or near-stah blogger has enriched your life, that’s great, but if you do that, you are required, by the terms of this assignment, to also celebrate a lesser known blogger (extra points if you seek out someone who is not on your blogroll and write about what a great discovery they are.) By this weekend, I want to see all of our names in virtual linky lights.

When you’ve posted your Ode to Amazing MommyBloggers, let the object(s) of your affection know. And send the link to your post to me, and I’ll put all the links together in a Big Honkin’ Momma Love post in honor of Mothers Day and us and the totally awesome mothers that we are. (Oh, and spread word of this around. As I recently pointed out here, I am not an supah-stah or even a comet or even a random piece of space junk, so word won’t spread if we rely solely on HBM traffic. Talk it up!)

The point of this is to make this week the week that we are all Mother of the Week. This is the week to really celebrate our friendships, new and old and as-yet-undiscovered. This week is our week. Make it so.


**To be clear – you can write about as many mama-bloggers as you like. You want to name 5 Mothers of the Week? Great; the more, the merrier. Just remember to shine on each mama with a bright, red carpet-worthy spotlight (and, of course, give good linkage.)

And: you don’t need to be a mommyblogger to post an ode to your favorites. Anyone with a blog (dads? y’all can feel free to step up here) is more than welcome to share up the love.

And, and: don’t forget to link back to me so that I can include your post in the Great Love-In Round-Up Mother’s Day CardPost (which, note, may go up Monday in the event that Sunday sees me buried in a mountain of bon-bons.)

And and and and: Many thanks to those of you who have already posted! Rock-on KoolAid sistahs!

**Serious Note**

Today, the tears, they have been flowing. Kristen told the devastatingly beautiful story of her amazing mother and the loss that they shared. Jezer wrote about such tragedy befalling someeone she knows. And Amalah, in her latest Daily Dose, posted about a few moms who have suffered the most terrible loss or are facing such loss. T. reminds us regularly of the strength and hugeness that are required for facing such loss. In the spirit of Mothers Day, sisterhood and the Great MommyBlogger Love-In of 2006, go shower those moms, or any others that you might know of, with the warmest virtual hugs.

Those moms (and here I’m also giving special nods to my sister, mother of the remarkable Tanner, and my late much-beloved Grandma, who lost her Jeanie before I was born) are the strongest and most awe-inspiring women imaginable. Words fail, so warmest, most appreciative virtual hugs and THREE BIG CHEERS will have to do. Love to you all.

And a sweet little smile from WonderBaby…