Three years ago, I took my then two-year-old son to Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s “Sunnydale High.”
A couple of fellow Buffy-loving friends were getting married, and I wanted to make them a special–if not exactly visually stunning–gift.
Just a few hours less than a year ago, I held my tiny second son in my arms.
He fit so neatly in the crook of my arm then. Now, a heartbeat and an eternity later, he wouldn’t stay there even if he did still fit.
I get that. It’s been such a whirlwind of a year that I have a hard time sitting still now, too. I feel like a storm will come along and blow me away if I try to settle in, so I’d better just keep rolling with it and test my landing seat when the winds slow.
This was the year I moved my older son to a new school, only to discover a new school with a mean teacher is a far more destructive choice than an old school with a loving one. This was the year he quickly returned to the old one.
(It’s also the year I learned a loving teacher can work wonders, pulling a terrified child out of his new-built shell with her tender tenacity.)
Sleep eludes me as I listen to my baby son’s labored breathing.
Intellectually, I’m pretty certain he’ll be fine with another few hours to kick this flu.
Instinctively, it’s a different matter. Some part of me says I must stay awake to listen for signs of distress.
So I’m awake. I’m awake and thinking how exhausting life is right now, but also how full of hope. In four hours, I’ll begin my penultimate day with my new job. I’ll be working from home to help nurse Littler J back to health while wrapping up what I can, reporting to my manager via instant messaging instead of office check-ins. What a gift it is to have the option, if only for another day!
My older son, Li’l D, was sick just last Thursday. I wanted to wrap up as much as possible before leaving my current job, so asked my husband to stay home with him. He works in television, but I figured there was a chance he could bail since it was a non-filming day.
My husband took Li’l D to work on set instead. Read more…
I met J through Buffy the Vampire Slayer forums.
Our online friendship became an offline one when she visited Los Angeles my second or third year of law school.
She stayed at my apartment. She didn’t complain when I abandoned her to work as a “goth” extra on Crossing Jordan. She kept herself busy in ways I’ve long since forgotten, and then took pictures of me when I returned. I’d booked another day working as a goth on Alias and was determined to leave in my snazzy ‘do.
Her pictures were beautiful. They captured a me who’d never before existed in the external world.
“I threw away his pants.”
You what?! my expression must have screamed, for she continued nervously.
“They were such a mess. I mean, they were ruined. Trust me. Poop. All. Over. So I threw them out.”
I thought of twenty different things I wanted to say to my baby son’s temporary care provider, but none would be useful. I opted instead for a simple, “Which pants were they?”
“Just some brown ones … ”
Ugh. Those “just some brown ones” were special to me. My blogging friend Peg had sent them to me for my baby son, Littler J, so that I smiled every time I saw them. “Just” a pair of pants, they reminded me how my “real,” day to day life has been brightened by the caring of people I’ve only met–so far–online.
As I collected my son, I felt saddened by change. My sadness was about more than a pair of pants. Read more…
My most bittersweet journey to date was made with a friend I’d first known as a sequence of blinking green letters on a black screen.
In 1993, Nathan and I started chatting on local bulletin boards before meeting up in person and becoming in fast friends. In 2008, with many years of history between us, he drove me and my newborn son up to Oregon say goodbye to my dying mom.
Nathan was my first online friend to become an offline friend, but I’ve made many more in the 21 years since then. In fact, almost all of my Los Angeles friendships began as virtual ones.
Mackenzie and I met thanks to our affection for the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer; she has been a rock to me since almost the moment we met.
Maggie and I first blog-bonded over our common love of Gandalf before she introduced me to her high school girlfriends, who adopted me as one of their own; I thanked two of them in this shout-out to teachers.
It was Maggie who introduced me to my now husband shortly before I moved to Japan. My second son was born ten years to the day after that meeting.
To say I’m open to beginning friendships online is an understatement. Read more…