Confession: I was taking my recent blogging break not just because I needed to spend more time with my kids and because I needed to figure out the blog framework. Those reasons are both true, but I’ve managed to cover them during the past few years while still writing.
No, I think the real reason I was headed offline was because I felt disillusioned and disenchanted with so much within the online blogging communities. Specifically within the Down syndrome blogging community and this huge disconnect that exists between parents of kids with disabilities (or, as they like to say, “special needs”) and people like me: actual people with disabilities. It’s often exhausting. And yeah, dispiriting.
I started to feel kind of alone in the room.
Not really sure if I wanted to be there, or if I even should.
I was also sick of stuff like blog stats, number checking, seeing how my stories here are being read (- or not), and by whom, and where. I felt like everything was rolling up into some little monster and biting me in some tender spot with sharp teeth that leave infections.
And so I did what made sense to me: I stepped outside for a break.
Then I got this message, rather out of the blue. It was from Marcia, who blogs at De Uma America a Outra (- their fb fan page is here). Marcia, her husband Andre and daughter Olivia are Brazilians who have been living in Toronto – and have been planning for some time to travel the Pan American Highway. Just like us. Only we are not Brazilian, worse luck.
So I got this email and she said they were in California – and how about getting together, hanging out?
Now I don’t know about you guys but there is something kind of thrilling and terrifying about meeting online friends in real life. I’ve had a ton of near-meets with bloggers in the Down syndrome community, but have never actually met anyone. I’ve only actually met bloggers from the travel blogging community – the Life Remotely people – and we all really liked them. At the same gathering with Life Remotely were the ‘we-have-so-much-in-common-its-scary’ couple from Carpe Viam, Chloe and Toby – and we really liked them too. Like, all of us: Mikey, me, and all 3 kids – we all liked all of them.
Since our experience was so positive with the travel folk, we were really open to meeting Marcia and her family – eager, even.
We arranged to meet them at Fort Point in San Francisco. A good place to be.
Mikey picked up a bunch of Vietnamese sandwiches (oh yum – lemongrass pork!), we hung out and waited while we watched the America’s Cup sailing around the Golden Gate Bridge.
Then they came and it was like, KA-BAM!
This sweet instant connection of all of us really liking one another. I mean, really liking one another.
Marcia had been reading this blog for quite a while and she knew everything – I mean, Moxie, my deaf stuff, what we want to do, everything.
And it struck me:
This is the reason to blog.
This. Is. The. Reason. To. Blog.
The friendship. The connection.
Screw everything else: the heart of blogging is connection.
It’s us being friends.
It’s sharing our stories and making these types of spiritual bonds with each other.
It’s meeting people that you would not likely meet if it were not for this amazing and powerful tool, the internet, a host and a theme.
Feeling a sense of kinship with people who really are not strangers. They are just friends you haven’t met in real life yet.
We spent the next few days with our friends. They are aborting their trip down the Pan Am because of a family medical emergency in Brazil – they are going back to help.
And can you imagine that? To prepare for this adventure for well over a year, sell everything, leave. Then call it off. Because their family back home needs them.
We love them. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to meet them. And to remember one of the biggest reasons for keeping this here blog: