I used to blog a lot, just a couple years ago. Back in 2007-08 I was blogging almost every day and reading many blogs on a regular basis. But life changes, and so does social media, and for the past couple years the pace and brevity of media such as Twitter and Facebook have fit into my life better. My readership here dropped down to a small group of friends and relatives, in part because I was no longer out there in the blogosphere, reading and commenting on so many other blogs, and in part because I was simply not writing much.
This summer when I’ve found myself at home a few days a week with two kids who go off and play together for hours at a time, I have made more time to write. I was also inspired by the BlogHer conference in New York earlier this month, which reminded me of the wonderful friends I’ve made through this medium and the way blogging brings us into worlds we otherwise wouldn’t know. And so I’ve been writing more again this month. As always, I’ve found that there’s plenty to say when I stop and pay attention to my life.
Last Thursday night, I wrote up a post for Lyle on his birthday; a love letter of sorts. I scheduled it to post on Friday morning, and it did. When I saw that the first few comments had landed in my mailbox, I thought I knew exactly who they were from (I can usually count on 5-10 comments from the same small circle of readers), but nearly all were from strangers. That’s odd. Who posted a link to my letter? I wondered. They were all so nice and heartfelt; I’m accustomed to comments from strangers here being 90% spam. And they kept coming. All morning. Finally one of them congratulated me on being “freshly pressed”. I had no idea what he was talking about and I was out doing errands with the kids, so like any modern woman, I posted the question on Twitter:
The answer that came back to me (thank you, Kristen!) was that I was featured on the home page of WordPress as one of the top 10 blog posts of the day. I’d been “Freshly Pressed“. Furthermore, when I clicked through to the parenting page, my post was one of the featured articles and the blog continues to be highlighted there today, five days later. It’s a little surreal, to be honest.
Comments just kept coming all that day, and the next day, and they’re still trickling in. I clicked through to my commenters’ blogs and discovered some new ones to add to Reader. I trashed the few spam comments that had made it through my filter. What overwhelmed me more than anything was that the commenters were incredibly kind and generous, sharing their own stories and thoughts. I wrote personal emails or left comments on the blogs of as many as I could but now there are more than one hundred comments and the post has gotten more than 5,000 hits.
It is humbling to have my words read by so many; this is a first for me. I’m grateful for everyone’s words and appreciate every comment that was left. Sitting here a few days later, stunned by the sheer number of visitors who have passed through, I wonder if any will stick around. I find myself envisioning the scene at the end of Charlotte’s Web when Charlotte’s egg sac opens and, incredibly, hundreds of tiny spiders finally emerge, only to wave and shout, cheerily, “Good bye!”, “Good bye!”, “Good bye!” as they parachute into the sky, leaving Wilbur watching in disbelief.
And yet three spiders decide to stay there in the barn, building their own webs above his head.
I hope that of the thousands who have passed through in the past few days, I too might be lucky enough to have a few stay and join me here for a while. And to them I say,