Thursday, June 08, 2006

Archive Archaeologist

Before the computer age began, I used to love wandering around the library stacks, breathing in the homey, musty smell of old books and coming across treasures in thick, durable library bindings – books like Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris, or out-of-print wartime stories by D.E. Stevenson, or those strange old romances by Mary Westmacott (the nom de plume under which Agatha Christie wrote six semi-autobiographical novels about mothers and daughters and adulterous husbands). These days, I order my library books online and pick them up at the desk, whipping out my library card hastily before the Bub finishes his stack of Cheerios and starts wriggling his way out of the double stroller. But I’m still a treasure-hunter at heart; I’ve just transferred my perambulations into cyberspace.

Not long after I began blogging, I started to feel sorry for those poor, lonely posts at the beginning of my blog. You know the ones: heartfelt introductions to my children and their cute, winning ways, and nary a comment to be found. And so I started collecting blogs for my blogroll, and each time I would wander around the archives a bit, looking for those beautifully worded inaugural posts – the ones you put through six or seven drafts before you got brave enough to post them. The ones that introduce who you are, how much you love your children, why you’re drawn to this crazy blogging world. And I found them.

I found, for instance, some hilariously funny reflections from Mommy off the Record on the ironic contrast between the rhetoric of mothering and the reality. (That post, by the way, is good example of a particular genre of early posts: those that provide the back story behind the blog’s name. If you wonder, for instance, what’s up with "Chicken and Cheese," look here, or if you’re curious about what Emily means by "Didn’t Think I’d Turn Out this Way," try reading this.)

I enjoyed the Continuing Chronicles of the Incredible Swaddle-Escaping WonderBaby, though I was content to lurk in those pre-blog days, too intimidated by Her Badness’s verbal brilliance to join the ranks of those agreeable Lilliputians.

Just today, I found a whole month’s worth of early, thought-provoking posts from Jaelithe on such subjects as Sesame Street (it ain’t what it used to be), the forces that prevent mothers from running the world (worse luck), and the eating habits of one very fascinating little boy (bring on the Breyers!).

I never know whether the creators will find the comments I leave on these old, old posts, but I feel good about commenting anyway. Because these well-crafted posts are full of wit and wisdom and really interesting information about who these bloggers are and why they’re writing in the first place. They carry a whiff of hope and excitement from someone who is just sticking a daring toe into the blogging pool. They deserve to be read, and sometimes they just look like they could use a little cyber-hug, a friendly comment to keep them company.

11 comments:

lynsalyns said...

I saw your comments on my old posts, and I certainly did appreciate then!

metro mama said...

Thanks for unearthing these!

Mommy off the Record said...

Wow. I'm speechless! Thank you for mentioning my blog. I remember when you left a comment on that entry. It was really special because I didn't think that anyone would ever read it or get the tag line!

When I find a new blog that I enjoy, one of my favorite things to do is peruse the original few posts. I'll have to check out the other blogs that you mentioned. I've always wondered what chicken and cheese referred to. :)

Christina said...

I love reading old posts, too. People tend to tell a lot more about themselves in those early posts, so it's easier to get a feel for the person.

sunshine scribe said...

I love that you are an Archive Archeologist and I agree that those early posts are some of the best gems. I am off to read some of your discoveries...

Karen said...

One of my favorite late-at-night activities is trying to read a blog from start to finish. Right now I'm working on the Pointy Toe Shoe Factory.

lildb said...

what a delightful post.

my archived stuff much appreciated your visits and subsequent comments. they felt very hugged and snuggy.

:)

Fioleta said...

I’m reading your old posts while my 3.5 month old baby is having her morning nap and I’m loving every one of them. So far I laughed numerous times, cried ones and read bits of your posts to my husband twice. In this early days of motherhood it is so wonderful to find out that others felt the same way, struggled with the same things (I had too much milk as well) and survived.

Thank you for your beautiful posts.

Sarah Denley said...

Sooo.....I don't know that words can convey my excitement when I read this. I discovered your blog around the exact same time it seemed that you decided it was less of a priority. Imagine my intense sadness!

I have read (and LOVED) so many blogs in the last few years, but yours has resonated so much! I just adore your writing style and especially your "list posts" and Meyers Brigg stuff.

Anyway, it occurred to me the other day that I could completely have my blog needs met by some digging entirely not creepy digging through your archives. SO, I was glad to know you once did the same and hope that this comment will actually make this to you!

Bea said...

So Sarah ... what MBTI type are you? (It sounds like I'm chatting you up in a bar, doesn't it? If you've been reading enough of my archives you probably know that this is exactly the first question hubby and I asked each other the day we met.)

Sarah Denley said...

I *think* I'm an ENFJ; I've read way more about temperaments-sanguine, choleric, melancholy, phlegmatic.