I've been blogging forever, well before Ella was a reality, when she was still just a glimmer in my eye. Before I became a "mom blogger," I was just a feminist blogger ranting about the world and George W. Bush's occupation of the White House. But as any woman who starts making friends in her mid-twenties quickly realizes, people start to have babies. And soon enough I did too.
The beauty of mom blogging is that it is a way for us to connect with other new moms, to share our joys and fears. When we find a mom blogger who has kids just a big older than our newborns, she becomes our big sister or super cool cousin, who can talk us down from our daily "I AM THE WORST MOM EVER!" ledge. That is who Dawn Friedman became to me. We met online when she was just embarking on the journey to add her daughter to her family. The fact she had a son who was maybe 6 or 7 at the time meant she knew how to survive the early days of the mamahood. And boy, did she ever come in handy.
Around the time Ella entered our lives, Madison entered Dawn's. I was nervous for the very open adoption the family was participating in. Last week Dawn shared a video of Madison rocking out on the drums. That tiny baby Dawn had brought home was dancing to her own beat. I then looked at Ella and realized she was too.
Then a few days ago, Noemi Martinez, aka Hermana Resist, someone I have known online about the same length of time I've known Dawn, posted that her youngest, Winter, wouldn't wake up. Shaking, calling her name, cold compresses...nothing was waking this beautiful creative girl. Today Noemi is holding vigil at Winter's bedside, still awaiting word on what happened to her girl. During this scary time, medical bills are piling up and there is a GoFundMe page to help the family out.
Mom blogging gets a lot of shit dumped on it. Here we are, moms who should be playing with our kids or making dinner, writing about the ups and downs of raising a small human being. But what I have consistently said is that we are creating our own communities. And with that, for some of us, extended families. Because this shit is hard and we need to vent sometimes! And yes, sometimes boast.
I cried with joy watching Madison on the drums. I've watched from afar as she has been growing up, read Dawn's writing on the challenges that open adoption does present, remembering that our girls both enjoy our squishy bellies, and being stunned that Dawn's son, Noah, is old enough to have a job.
Today my heart breaks at the pain that Noemi is going through awaiting her baby girl to wake up and life to go back to normal. I have enjoyed reading her Facebook updates on how Winter and her big brother, River, have been testing out the limits of teenage independence, how they have debates about Star Trek and Star Wars, and create zines together.
And there you have it. Blogging is not just a platform or a way to get your ideas out into the world, it is a means of connecting with people. With that connecting is the joy of births, marriages, new jobs, and simple happy days. But it also comes with the pain of deaths, divorces, depression (ours or our kids), failed journeys, and sickness.
At the end of the day, I do not see all the people who I have connected with my network, but parts of my family. Some more than others. And with that, their kids feel like nieces and nephews to me. So yes, my dear Noemi, she is our Winter. May she come home soon.
REMINDER: Noemi has a a GoFundMe page to help with the growing medical bills. Please give what you can.