*How* Did You Meet Them?

I get that question a lot when I talk about my friends. I have what I guess is considered a lot of friends online. Yes. Online. In my computer. That I’ve never met before. Some I’ve met. Some I haven’t but feel closer to them than anybody else in my life.

I think there’s a fine line of what is a healthy ratio of online/real life friends, but I consider myself very well-rounded and uh, diversified! I’m pretty sure I cover every demographic, religion, sexual orientation and political party available you can check off the list. But while I have a lot of friends in my computer, I still have a lot of friends I am in touch with in “real life” too.

One group of friends in particular is my December’s Finest group of girls! These girls are amazing! They all met in an iVillage expecting forum for babies being born in December 2004. At the time, I was on a Group B Strep forum on iVillage and after Henry was born, I jumped over to another group. Somewhere along the way, I met Linda. Sweet Linda. Loved her from the minute we first connected. When Henry was about 2, Linda invited me to her December’s Finest circle of friends. They had since left the iVillage forum and made their own private world. I jumped right in and it was like we’d known each other all our lives.

There are probably 30 active girls at DF – more or less at times. And I can honestly say, some of those girls are my best friends in the whole world. And by “whole world”, I mean WHOLE WORLD. We’ve got somebody from Guam, from Luxembourg, from Australia, several Canadians, people from the west coast, the northwest, the southwest, the south, the mid-Atlantic and of course, the midwest. Every region is represented. It’s an amazing group. We share our funnies, our sadness, our victories, our failures, our relationships and our fears. Anything goes (even though we’ve put a moratorium on politics and religion lately). And the beauty is, we’re all connected through our wonderful 5 year olds (that are about to be 6).Seeing our babies go off to kindergarten this year was really hard.

We’ve all had our trials and tribulations lately and I think, as a group, we are all growing. I know as individual women, we’re all growing. We are all having little awakenings weekly it seems. Maybe they’re mid-life crises, or maybe we’re just realizing that as our children are becoming more independent, we can regain that role of wife and daughter and sister and most importantly, “ourselves”.

Some of us have met people. Some live close to each other. In fact, one reason I was kinda excited about moving to St. Louis was so I could live near Rena and Samantha. But I’ll just have to make a trip there soon! I am close to several girls in Atlanta and that’s awesome!