A new blog is like a new, fuzzy pet. Fun to play with, cool to show your friends, like the kitten that psycho-scrambles through your house or the hamster that runs into perpetuity. You get a really good feeling from taking care of the new little thing, and you secretly relish that ego-stroking sense of power, knowing that it is 100%, completely, dependent upon you. You don't even mind at the beginning, too terribly much, when it ignores you. The kitten slinks off to the corner and refuses to sit on your lap. The hamster is more interested in the inanimate leaf of lettuce than your smiling face. Nobody posts a comment on your blog. It's okay, though. You can deal with this.
But then life rings your doorbell and you veer off into other directions. The kids are swallowed up by soccer schedules, the school has an irritating habit of requiring homework, and your son's teenage romance begins to invade your time and emotional energy. Your ailing parent ails some more. And then you open your mail to discover that your money has gone AWOL, and it's a lot worse than when your keys are missing, because you can't so easily retrace your investment steps or pull the extra set of mutual funds out of your junk drawer. You are treading water in major grown-up issues and don't have time for that new little pet.
And what happens when you don't feed the kitten or hamster? The same is true with the blog. I returned from a couple of weeks of Life to find my blog gasping for breath, shriveled from dehydration. There was a part of me that thought about just turning and walking away. I know, that's lame; it shows my weaker shadow. But I confess it's true. I knew, however, that I simply couldn't do that. I couldn't create something and then just abandon it, like those nasty people in Nebraska do with their unwanted children.
And so I write again. And it feels good. The blog is fattening up and purring and beginning to yawn and stretch. We are a pair again, like Timmy and Lassie, or Charlie and Snoopy. We are here for each other. And that's why the caged blog pings. It needs me.
PS: Maya, if you read this, thank you for letting me play with your title. You have inspired me in so many, often unpredictable, ways.