Feed on

There’s so much to write right now that I’m a tad overwhelmed. Since I’ll never have time to write it all down–for reasons I’ll be getting to in a minute–I’ve decided to take a thematic approach. Herewith, a blog entry about my adventures in motherhood and how they relate to the themes of Love, Loss, and the Power of Google.

Love: Sunday (today as I’m writing this) was Simon’s birthday party. It was a simple family affair featuring sandwiches, veggies, chips, hummus, bean and pasta salads, pumpkin cupcakes, a bug hunt (think easter eggs with a higher oogie factor), and–of course–presents and singing. As I’ve been nostalgic about Simon’s babyhood since the second week, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in recent weeks looking over old photos of him and reading about our early adventures together. I clearly loved him from the first. But not like I do now. That first love is biological and intense, but also uninformed. Now, a year on, I love him for the sweet little boy I know so well. For any Philip Pullman fans out there, I feel at times like Simon is my daemon familiar, and that I’ll learn more about myself when I find out more about who he is.

Loss: This, sadly, is a two-part entry.

First, I’m losing my Monday nanny, Emily. Simon loves Emily. Because of that, I love Emily. She arrives every Monday right at 9:00 a.m., she plays with Simon, takes him for walks, and gets him down for an afternoon nap, she feeds him, and she does all of this with a minimum of fuss. She’s been a dream. However, she’s now just over three months pregnant, her allergies are giving her fits, and my cats are killing her. This loss hits me on several fronts. On the one hand, I just like Emily and will genuinely miss seeing her once a week. And selfishly, this is the time of year I was hoping to kick back and enjoy a bit of down-time, but instead I’m back to square one in the nanny hunt and then will have to familiarize someone new with our routines. Not exactly what I had in mind.

Loss, Part II: It doesn’t end there. The worst of it is that two days ago the server that runs okcomputer.org crashed. This has happened before, but Matt could always reboot the server. Or the hosting company could. Matt didn’t get around to submitting a trouble ticket, and we hadn’t backed up the site. You see where this is going, right? This time, the server did not reboot, and a call to our hosting company could not quickly remedy things. Words like “disaster recovery” were used. Then worse sentences followed, like “we could not recover your data”. My heart sank.

okcomputer.org not only houses our email (oops!) and photos (we have all), but also my year-long blogging project. Nearly every thought I’ve had about Simon is in that blog. My early successes and failures, fears, delights, records of when he did everything for the first time. All of it is on the unsaved blog. In fact, this winter I had planned to search some of the information to put in Simon’s baby book. I did not take the news of the possible loss of this entire record well. While Matt talked about disaster recovery companies and forensics tools, I sat in my dining room, put my face in my hands, and sobbed.

When I’ve lost stuff in my life before, I’ve typically been pretty cool about it. My friend Beth’s mother Judie once said “it’s just a thing” about something or other (appropriately enough, I can’t remember just now), and I’ve made that my mantra. Laundry accident? It’s just a thing. Lost earring? It’s just a thing. Cat scratches on something? It’s just a thing. Then last October I realized that Simon’s little ankle bracelets from the hospital were missing, no doubt thrown out by accident, and my mantra failed me. That thing was more than a thing, and I wanted that thing badly. I still think about those little anklets and wish I had them.

But losing the blog would be the worst. When I first started blogging, it was just a casual way to let friends and family know what was going on with us. Then it became a habit, and then a compulsion. It’s the longest diary of anything I’ve ever kept. We’ve been lax about videotaping, but I’ve been a relentless blogger. And I’ve been telling myself for months now that one day, when I am old and my memory is failing me, I will treasure being able to revisit my first year of motherhood. If I’m lucky, one day Simon will grow up, have a child of his own, and might just appreciate reading it himself. I truly intended Kid Amnesiac to be a gift to my future self and to Simon. The prospect of losing all that just made me inconsolable, especially coming as it did on a day when I was so immediately reminded of Simon’s growing up anyway.

The Power of Google: Enter Google. I haven’t always been a huge fan of Google. I know from my work life of the privacy and security implications of Google’s search and cache functions. Google street views are cool, but also invasive. Their policies in China have disturbed me. They are getting awfully big, and they threaten copyright. Whatever. At this point, were I on the Nobel Committee, and with due apologies to Al Gore, I would happily award the Peace Prize to Google, because Google saved my blog.

Right now, I’m waiting for Matt to rebuild Kid Amnesiac. The archive isn’t functional—and it might not be for a long, long time. But I have 90% of my blog and will have 100% (I hope!) before it is over, and I did it by hunting down my blog month by month–or sometimes entry-by-entry–through Google’s cached pages. God bless Google. My house is a disaster. I don’t have a new nanny yet. And I need to get some sleep. By I’ve got my blog, I’ve saved my memories, and I can go wipe off my tear-streaked makeup and sleep tonight. Thank you Larry Page and Sergey Brin, from the bottom of my heart.

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