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Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Child Bloggers

By Tamar of Mining Nuggets

Bruce Perry says that some of our most important thoughts come in places like the shower or on the treadmill. Well, today on the treadmill my childhood playmate, Mimi, came to mind associatively.

Miriam, as she hated to be called, was my neighborhood friend. I remember us as precocious little girls. We did not play with dolls like other little girls in the fifties. No sirree. We played "notes!"

When we were nine and ten years old, Mimi would come over to my house. It would take a few moments of checking in, boredom, and decision making and then we would look at each other and say, "Let's play notes."

We had a little box (I think it might have been a matchbox) tied together with two very long pieces of string in a type of pulley system. The strings were long enough to reach from upstairs in my house right the way down and round to a small closet under the stairs.

Each armed with pieces of paper, which we prepared ahead of time, we would station ourselves at our posts. Mimi upstairs and me down under in the closet. I would write a note, tug on the string and she would pull it up to the top of the stairs. Then I would wait while she replied.

We wrote our notes back and forth for what seemed like hours. Scribing about everything we could think of often I could hear her giggling up there at the top of the stairs after receiving one of my replies.

I loved that game when I was a child. I loved the secrecy of sitting under the stairs knowing that a note would soon come tumbling down in the little box in reply to something I had said or asked. I adored the tension as I waited for her response, an acknowledgment of something I shared.

It reminds me today of bloggers. Some of us show our photographs and some do not. Even so, we remain a mystery to one another. Sitting in our different little "closets under the stairs."

I think about what it might be like to meet up as a group over drinks or coffee or tea. Would it take away from the tension of waiting for responses, acknowledgment or the feeling of something left unknown, unsaid about the other? Such a different, detached, mysterious sort of intimacy, hearing and seeing our "voices" muffled in cyberspace.

Mimi and I have gone our separate ways. I have not seen her for over twenty-five years. When I think back to those childhood days I guess we were child bloggers.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Tamar, you and Mimi used the lovely imagination of childhood. What a delightful story of two little girls making up a clever game. It brings back memories of playing with my childhood friend, although our imaginations made up different games.

If only we could recapture that wonderful magic when we became jaded adults.

Yes, Darlene. I know what you mean. But I do think our joyful inner child is still within us even as we become jaded. We just have to remember once in a while. I sometimes look at an old photograph of myself as a toddler - one where I look particularly joyful and mischievous - and that reminds me that there must be an old spark in there somewhere!

Two writers in the making! I hadn't thought about how much the waiting and mystery play into the fun of life.

Blessings,
Sharry

Great piece. I love the connection to blogging and the image of the closet under the stairs from which we send out missives.

This is heavenly! I totally relate. Unlike you, I lived in a Manhattan 21-story building. My friend Iris and I played a similar communication game that we called telephone. We both lived on the third floor, and her bedroom and our kitchen faced the same courtyard. We connected two empty frozen juice cans with seemingly miles of string. Here's how we managed to connect these cans, our telephones.

To each can, we attached endless string, then tossed the string out the windows, toppling into the courtyard. Next, we descended to the courtyard where we tied the two strings together. We returned to our windows and pulled up the now-joined strings until the one string was taut.

Voila. Either girl tugging at her can would signal the other to come to the window and talk. I think we carried on this communication game at least a year. Writing it up now, the game seems silly. All that the cans and string accomplished seems minor relative to the efforts constructing the Rube Goldberg contraption. Yet we felt delirious with pride and joy at our ingenious device, and we never thought the link was frivolous given that we still had to shout our chats.

Like you and Mimi, Iris and I were launching careers in communication and education.

Your memories, then mine — triggered by your post, sent me (in the middle of typing this comment) googling Iris! I found her quickly, sent an email, and ... she called minutes later. Our last conversation was in 1973.

Thank you, Tamar!

Tamar,

I loved your story because it took me back to my childhood. When I was about ten we used to have to cross a bridge over the RR tracks to get almost anyplace we wanted to go.

It was a concrete bridge and had a lot of deep cracks. That's where I put the notes I had written to my friend, Dolores, who lived on the other side. She would reach in and take out my note and then write something to me and insert it in the crack.Then she would go home and wait for me to find it.

Oh, the anticipation when I would reach into the crack. Did she write to me today? I hope so. I was thrilled when my fingers touched paper when I felt in the hollow. Then I would race home to write something back to her.

Thanks for your story. It was fun remembering Dolores and her many funny letters to me.

That is a good analogy. I likened blogging to having pen-pals, like the one I had in Germany when I was in middle school. The difference is that in blogging, you are writing to the world.

The blogging analogy is great. We had milk boxes on our front porches and left notes for each other there. The milkman probably got a chuckle every once in a while, too.

Thanks for all these comments! I am so thrilled the piece stirred memories for some of you too.

Isn't it amazing how human beings love to communicate with each other?

It seems we start doing it in every way we can from the most primitive to the sublime ... and as soon as we are able!

You certainly were. How delightful. We just played with paper dolls.

And, Mage, I'll bet your paper dolls spoke with one another? I mean even silently in your brain if not out loud in your playing ...

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