Last year, about this time, I met one of my dearest blog friends in person. I met her husband too, and her five kids. One of her kids (Billy, I think), while in the barn, dubbed the barn swallows X-wings. Now, I’m not a fan of Star Wars, but that reference was enough to make me want to be. I haven’t been able to watch a barn swallow without thinking of him, and then of her, all year.

Today, all day, I’ve been busy waiting. I haven’t been picking up my house. (Not only is there no use, really, with a helpful preschooler who keeps right on playing, but, well, I have a strict ‘no picking up for friends’ policy.) I haven’t been worrying about my hair. I haven’t been weeding the flowerbeds. (The flowerbeds, it should be noted, are not thanking me for that.)

I’m doing laundry and hanging it out. I’m playing store. I’m watching a budding ballerina-princess-scientist do her thing.

And…I’m waiting.

It’s hard to wait.

But it’s getting easier. I got a call about an hour ago letting me know that they’re in God’s Country (aka Ohio). Now they’re within an hour of arriving.

It makes me think, as I type and think about the irony of them arriving as I blog about it, about how I read about blog buddies being one sort of friend, somehow different from “real” friends.

Not so with the blog friends I have. The word “blog” is there only as a way of reminding me of how often I “talk” to them, through the snapshots of our lives on our blogs, through emails to encourage and enliven, and even (with a couple) through phone calls.

When I discovered and finally buckled into blogging, I was looking for support: support in my faith life, support as a mom, support as a woman. What I found was a Catholic community of friends, of women (and men) who remind me that we’re all one Church, we’re all one Body, we’re all Disciples together. I have made friends who make me look like a big slacker in the reading department. I have made friends who inspire me with their strength.

And that brings me to today.

Perhaps the best thing about the “virtual” (though no less “real”) friends I have made online is the meeting them in person. In Atlanta, I hope to meet a few more. I’m driving down with Heidi (and her two angels), in fact. On the way home from Atlanta, I’m going to go so far as to stay with one of my very favorites.

So here we are, within moments of me meeting Michelle…for the second time. And I’ll also get to meet Mary…for the first time! (Don’t think I’m not rubbing my hands together in anticipation of that, because I am!)

With that joyful moment of virtual becoming reality, I leave you for now. 🙂