Monday, October 09, 2006

Mother Firefly Story

Mother Firefly with her cyberlove
During my second week of poking
around, and submitting some older pieces of art a comment was left on a piece (now hidden for it's shoddy composition) titled Echo. He had just submitted a piece of writing titled E'kos (pronounced echoes), so the title caught his eye. I wandered over to his profile page, and found him just adorable, then I scrolled down and saw that not only was he 3 years younger than I, he was also 750+ miles away.
I left a comment and went on my way. Never to have anything but the last word, he came back and left another. Just as
bad as he is, I went back, upped the ante, and left a private message saying that I hope he hadn't minded, but I had added him to my messenger. I didn't know anyone on dA, and a friend would be great. At the time I was trying to keep it friendly, he was young and way too far away. Some time later that day, he messaged me, and we spent the afternoon talking.
He wanted to know what made me want to talk to him. I explained that just before I sent him the private message, I had been up reading all the incredible things in his gallery. I'm a graphic artist, but also a complete bookworm. We talked for hours, but when a friend of mine stopped by to tell me that the river had risen to flood a park nearby (I live in the north, but hurricane rains wreak havoc here), I told him that I had to run for a bit, and check on the park. I know that sounds odd, but it was a home away from home, and we were the few people who actually took care of the area. When I returned home, the first thing I did was sign back into my messenger, but he wasn't there.

Not too long after he did sign on, and we talked until really late in the night. In the middle of a conversation he disappeared. At first I didn't think anything of it, but as
time went by I was more and more upset about it. I emailed a friend and ranted on about why I should care that this guy I don't even really know stopped talking to me mid conversation. I stayed up a few more hours pretending to be occupied by a painting I was working on, but eventually went to bed feeling really dejected.

The next morning I signed on to find an email from the friend telling me that it's ok to
like this guy, no matter where he is or how old. I signed into my messenger and before
my contact list loaded, I was getting 50 messages a minute. He was there waiting, his
internet connection had gone down, and only came back up in the early morning, and I was gone. We talked for a bit, but then I was off to play with my son.

I came back late in the evening and we talked all night. Around 6am he wanted to call
me, but I had to get to bed, I had a year and a half old to entertain all day. I promised that he could call me later that night under the pretence that he was going to read me the only work in his gallery I hadn't tackled. 9:05pm (the rates had gone down) he called me and read the first 9 chapters of the book. I was completely enrapt; it was
the best children's fantasy I had ever heard. We finished it two nights, which was
insane; this is a long piece of writing. It was a combination of me loving it, and
neither of us wanting to get off the phone.

After a few days, it was nightly ritual for him to call me as soon as his free time kicked in. We talked about how it was a bad idea to get into long distance relationships, which he knew from experience, I agreed. One night a friend called me in a state, they needed me to come set up a portfolio and business card for them, and that the interview was in the morning, and they were failing terribly at getting it together.

After a strong chastising, I agreed to come over and do it. I signed into messenger and
told my long distance friend that he should ring me for a minute, I had to run out. We talked for a few minutes, and I told him I had to go. I was in the car before I realized that I told him I loved him when I had hung up, and that he had answered me. I went and got everything taken care of, and was home in a few hours. I signed back online, and of course he was there. He didn't mention it, and neither did I. I told him I was signing off, he called. It was the most hilariously awkward conversation with a lot of so...'s and uuhhh's. Finally he came out with it, something like "so, what you said earlier...yeah." I told him I was crazy, but that I meant it, and that it was the first time I'd ever said it without it being said first. Just an honest slip of the tongue. He agreed.

Now dear reader, you have to think that I am some crazy teen mother with a taste for art. To assure you- at the time I was a college educated 24 year old single mother. I am now a college educated 26 year old graphic designer with a toddler son and a wonderful fiancé who is not 750+ miles away.

Within two weeks of the fateful "L" word, I traveled across 4 states, arriving on a Friday evening, and leaving on a Sunday morning. I cried until I was back in my home state. Two weeks later, I made the trip again for a family reunion, and the meeting of the mother. A terrifying prospect let me tell you. This trip was four days, and I still cried the whole way home. That was September. I didn't see him again until Thanksgiving, and it was about the longest 60 days of my life. I got on a plane for the first time, and made my way through airport after airport.

We were together for 9 days that time, and I cried from the last bit of his feet I saw, through security (and being searched because of change in my pocket), into the terminal waiting area, while the old southern woman consoled me, boarding the commuter jet, and until the last glimpse of his dorm towers were visible. He flew here for Christmas, it was the first holiday we had together, ant the poor guy was stuck in Chicago for 6 hours. I met him midway for spring break, which was scary- we drove through some of the worst snow ever. It was a long few months, but summer came, and I bought my last solo plane ticket. One way. I went to his college graduation, and we visited family, loaded our car and drove back to my home state.

So, here we are, two years later- raising our little boy, surviving, engaged, and moving
out of our tiny apartment and into our first house this Monday. It's been the longest,
most wonderful, and new experience of my life. We were right from the very beginning- We loved each other, and long distance relationships are hard. Thank goodness we both communicate well. That's the key to distance relationships. You have to know how to talk to people, and you have to be honest from the beginning- or at least soon enough that when you tell them what you lied about they aren't completely appalled. We chose to be honest from day one.

So, that's my story... pretty simple I guess. I just wanted everyone to know how
incredibly special I feel.

"Mother Firefly"

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