Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I know that I've mentioned my "mommy board" here before, but today I am once again reminded of what a huge part it plays in my life.

One of the girls I post with in a more private forum suffered a house fire last night. Her home is a total loss. Her husband is recovering from burns, her children are singed and scared, and she had to run through the flames with her son in her arms. They lost their dog. They lost everything they owned. This morning they wathced their house burn to the ground, with nothing but the pajamas they were wearing, and each other.

My heart aches for this woman that I have never met. She is my friend, despite the fact that we've only exchanged typewritten words on a message board filled with hundreds (if not thousands) of other women. In an online community filled with funny and sometimes crude user names, she's just another poster. But she is my friend.

Mommy boards are interesting places. They can be like sorority houses - cliquey and snotty and exclusive. Sometimes in a lull they like to invade other mommy boards and stir the pot for fun. They can be silly and catty. But they can also be places to learn. They are places to find advice. This one has been there for me through the birth of three children, through the death of a sister-in-law and a father, and through job changes and a cross country move. They have encouraged me when I have been ready to call it quits with breastfeeding, when I was ready to throw up my hands at potty training, and they didn't laugh at my tears when my oldest started school. They are moms too - they understand.

And they are places that can reach out in the most astounding ways.

Several years ago, Skippy and I were both laid off not too long before the holidays. We had a brand new baby. We were both scared. One day, a one hundred dollar gift card showed up in the mail - some of the moms on my board had chipped in to make our holidays a little easier. I will never forget that simple, unexpected kindness. They were there for me.

The night my parents left my house after telling me that my Dad had cancer, I cried on my husband's shoulder. Then I had a drink. Then I got on my mommy board. And again, they were there for me.

When I needed emergency surgery because of an ectopic pregnancy, Skippy signed on and gave my online friends the scoop. And once again, they helped get me through - they were there for me.

Today, the donations are already being gathered. Clothes and toys, restaurant cards and gas money, gift certificates and cash - it's all being sent to this one woman - a woman who isn't even a face on a message board - she's just another name; a fun, sassy, shining personality. She's a woman who needs help. Another Mom. Another friend.

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you sweetie. And to that mommy board, I am so proud to be a part of your community. I am blessed to have you all in my life.

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