June was hard. You can call grief an understandably human reaction of dismay to the onset of irreversible change, and let me tell you, this summer, my life it is a-changin'.
After losing Phil, on the first day of June, then a few days later absorbing the awful blow of Katy Maguire's death, we got the news that two dear friends planned to separate.
Then another change arrived. It may have been nowhere near as big and painful as that trinity of loss, but the dissolution of the Silicon Valley Moms Group dealt another blow. The SVM Group included over 400 writers across twelve regional sites, including one in Chicago. I wrote forty-nine pieces for the Chicago Moms Blog over the last two and a half years, including two pieces, "Clutter, An Appreciation (See Footnote 1)" and "Bedtime Stories" that were picked up for syndication by the McClatchy-Tribune news service. But the writing support and exposure was only a small part of what makes the loss of this online community painful.
Last weekend I talked with a woman who was one of my mother's friends forty years ago when they were both young mothers of young children. She told me stories about our old neighborhood in LaGrange. "There were fifty-seven kids on Dover Street," Cele said. "You could step out on the stoop and there was always someone to talk to, someone to watch the kids for five minutes while you put something in the oven."
The Silicon Valley Moms Group blogs were a neighborhood of sorts, perhaps without the spontaneous childcare, but with all the divergent voices and personalities you'd find on any residential street. You could witness or take part in communal laughter, encouragement, pain, even the occasional argument, only they took place at the keyboards rather than over the fences. It's the comments that I'll miss, the feedback from readers that would make a post written in isolation transform into a conversation.
Fortunately, three writers and editors from the old group have formed a new collaborative Chicago mom blog where I'll be contributing. You can read many of the former writers from the old Chicago Moms Blog and get your fix for community here at The Chicago Moms. My first post, "Their Marriage," is up and it's lovely to begin the conversations again.