In my life currently I have both real and internet communities that I belong to. It’s hard to believe that prior to DS2’s birth, I pretty much had none! Back in the late 80s/early 90s when DS1 was in elementary school, I was pretty much on my own with him. Ex#1 was totally unreliable and inconsistent in his participation. Ex#2 who I was with in those days was working and going to law school and did what he could, but also was not a true 50/50 partner in those issues. The elementary school DS1 went to was unfortunately populated with some of the most exclusionary middle-aged/high school cliques I’ve encountered as an adult! I was not included since a) I was divorced b) I worked c) I was 15+ years younger than all of them and d) I did not attend church with them. Therefore I never had other people to rely on to get DS1 to after school events other than me. It was very hard and put a lot of pressure on me at work at a time where the flexibility I have now was not there and others were constantly watching the hours I was at my desk. Given those lean times, I feel the need to express appreciation for the communities I now have.
My real life communities are many now. DS2’s school community is awesome. The parents there are us unpretentious as the others’ were pretentious. I have families there I can call if I am in a bind getting DS2 shuttled around. We look out for each other’s kids and celebrate their accomplishments. I have people to chat with at school events and always feel welcome when I can volunteer or chaperon a field trip. We also have the football community. These are the families and coaches (some crossing over from school) who have been involved in Pop Warner with us. Again, supportive, caring and always there to help out if needed. The same goes for the Powerhouse baseball community of families. It is just the complete opposite of how things were before and I appreciate it so much.
I have a growing list of internet communities! The original and tightest is of course the August moms. I refer to it as internet based since we started there although it is real now that we have nearly all met and we do visit each other at least once a year. This weekend I am heading out to Orlando for the HEUG conference and will visit with some moms there. They have enriched not only my parenting experiences, but just my own day to day life and contributed to my own personal growth in so many ways. I would not be who I am today without them. I have a new community of sports friends on the internet thanks to the Padres site. We met for pizza a few weekends ago and just had a blast. DS2 is part of this with me and we just love it. We will never watch a Padres game on tv alone again :-> The one I want to highlight right now though is my political community. Cheers and Jeers is at the heart of it, but it all starts on the main site DailyKos. Pretty much the ONLY thing we have in common on that site is that we don’t support this current Republican party. Notice I did not say that we are all Dems or liberals etc. Trust me when I say that this is THE most diverse, opinionated groups of people I have ever encountered! The fights are NOTORIOUS. However, the support is equally so. It is quite obvious that many of the people there are what would be classically termed “computer geeks”. People who can relate much more comfortably to a monitor than to real life. There is a lot of social dysfunction and immaturity in there. However, there is also a lot of educating going on. I have seen some truly amazing indivdual growth as a result of interactions there. People have come out of their shells, learned to moderate their tone, learned to back off the easy insults and slanders and just be more human. Consequently, you start to get attached to these people who you only know by their usernames. I was lucky enough to meet a lot of them at Ykos06 in Vegas and to have met more in Maine and again here locally. They are all as wonderful in person as I have found them to be in 1s and 0s and are definitely another positive addition to my life.
So, after that long intro, here is what I wish. Please read this post by Station Wagon and the comments that follow. You will see the true nature of the community that is DailyKos. Then please add Station Wagon to your prayer lists. I do not know her, she is not one of the many I met last year in Vegas or one of my C&J buddies. It doesn’t matter. She is part of one of my communities and needs to be supported.
Hillary Clinton used the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” and turned it into the title of a book. Given what a polarizing figure she is, a lot of fun was made of it. However, she was so right! I am eternally grateful to all of my communities that are helping me and enriching me as a parent and as a person. Hopefully I give back to them as much as I have gained.