Friday, August 25, 2006

The power of a Juniper

And I am not just talking about the 1000% (actual statistic) increase in hits to this blog the day it was mentioned at that far more famous blog. I mean, the power to so completely charm every member of the Matic household in a mere 18 hours that every time D sees the lovely red hat Juniper left, he smiles and says “baby! Baby!” The power to make me grateful that the internet exists in part so that people who should have been friends but never lived close enough to co-exist can find each other and strike up a friendship.

Now, there were some slightly awkward things about having them here, I will not lie. First, making sure I called them by their Real Names and not Wood and Dutch and Juniper all the time actually took some effort, not unlike trying to remember not to call Gillian Anderson “Scully” when discussing the movie House of Mirth. Also, Wood is pretty smokin’ hot, and the fact that Daddymatic refrained from ogling her while we talked their poor heads off over after-dinner coffee is further evidence that he is the picture of restraint. Similarly, when we went to the fabulous Liberty Park and Dutch offhandedly mentioned that “you totally don’t look any older than any of these other moms,” I was hard pressed not to just kiss him on the mouth then and there. And Juniper? It was the oddest thing to see my flesh-and-blood little rugrat hanging out with the internet icon Herself, especially when she was even more adorable than she is on the blog. I felt personally that she should come with some kind of warning about that, but I kept that opinion to myself.

I guess the overwhelming feeling I had as they drove off to hang with El Dooce (as Dutch calls her) was how important it is to have interesting, funny, clever people in one’s life, especially while raising children. Sweet Juniper was the first blog I read that was written by someone I didn’t know personally, and I remember that my reward for actually doing work as I sat in my office was to see if there were any new posts there. When Bee-bee started reading it, too, she summed up my feelings about it—and parenting—pretty well when she said, “It’s the way I wished I could have been when I was a young parent.” When Wood and I started emailing about sleep troubles, I felt simultaneously like I was thrilled to have such a cool friend but also a little freaked out to have a friend who, should I see her in the flesh, I couldn’t pick out of a crowd of one. When they accepted my offer to host them on their Great All-America Extravaganza, I was nervous—these were blogebrities! What if they derided my shopping choices and personal housekeeping decisions in front of The Internet?!

But of course that didn’t happen. They were just really nice folks that I happened to have a 14-month long almost-daily dossier on. And from now on, I’m going to stop referring to them as “these bloggers I know” and call them what they are: my friends.