Happy Birthday, Stacie!

It’s my PIM friend Stacie’s birthday.

I think I should first do a little more explaining as to exactly what a PIM (Psycho Internet Mom, a teasingly endearing term) is before continuing with my birthday wishes for her. I am pretty sure I have not explained PIMs in depth on this blog – but if I have, it is just more testimony to my horrible memory and I apologize.

As we were trying to get pregnant with Declan, I took to reading every piece of information possible about parenting that available via book or internet web site. Since I had never really taken care of children, I was at a complete loss – and we all know that I don’t really care for that feeling. OK, I had babysat ONCE, but that was a disaster.

I found several great resources online and many of them had accompanying message boards. Here were women who were going through what I was. Some of the boards even divided off by the month you were due – so those women were going through EXACTLY what I was. At first I was nervous to post my thoughts so publicly, but I learned to do what made me comfortable and who I could confide in privately.

It’s a pretty interesting sociology experiment – to see this hugely diverse group of women chat almost daily about everything from baby poop, to troubles with their significant others, to the weather. Of course, it was fascinating to see how differently we all approached a problem – or many times, how much we were the same.

There were message boards on every topic conceivable – and when Declan was born 8 weeks premature… I found a lot of comfort in the Preemie Board. But as time wore on, I realized that posting there was making me stay in my place of grief and drama regarding Declan’s emergency birth and I slowly faded away from that board. It has been amazing to watch the ebb and flow of which boards help you when you need them the most.

Some of the ladies I met through these boards have become so close that there were private boards set up – to really let it all hang out without the watchful eye of any Hairy Phils. In these private boards, I have found some very close friends – people who I have now met in person – people who know me so well that it’s almost scary sometimes… And trust me, I know how freaky that sounds given it all started on a public internet site.

It’s taken a long time to develop these friendships – not so much from my lack of trust – but from my lack of memory. For a long time, I had so much trouble keeping everyone’s stories straight I was careful to comment on things in only generic terms. But ever so slowly, all the details… the husband’s names… the careers… the likes and dislikes… the political leanings… the funny quirks. All of those things have found a home in my brain. To where I now feel like I have this huge network of trusted friends who are only a click of the mouse away.

Stacie is one of those friends. We started a friendship way back when I was pregnant with Declan and she pregnant with her second, Morgan. We connected over music, politics, Ritter Sport chocolate bars… and her wickedly funny sense of humor. Stacie was the one to introduce me to American Idol – I know you all will collectively thank her for that. Over the 4 years we have remained friends even though we have never met in person… A pretty damn long time even for people who actually see each other face to face once in a while. But we are going to rectify that sometime this year and actually get together! I swear it! Then I will have a photo of her to add to her birthday post next year. Becasue I am sure we’ll be friends for many years to come.

Happy birthday, you “April Fool.” Love ya.

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