Little moments, bigger steps

Even a seemingly random, inconspicuous Monday in late January can mark interesting events. Usually I’m just happy when I make it through a Monday, because that’s the most active evening of our week. When I finally get everyone to and from everywhere they need to be, the dinner mess cleaned up, and the kids in bed, I exhale a great “whew” and begin the Great Monday Unwinding. That might, on occasion, include the consumption of a beer or two. Maybe.

At any rate, two key events took place for us today. Most importantly, my daughter, the Princess Puddinette, attended the very first of what is certain to be hundreds of Girl Scout meetings. Now, I don’t know if that makes her a girl scout, a brownie, a chiffon cupcake, or some other kind of bake-sale item, but we paid the requisite sign-up fees and are now in the market for the appropriate vest. So, you know, I guess…who needs a cookie hook-up? Let me know. No one wants my cute-as-a-button daughter crying herself to sleep because her fancy new sash or whatever is noticeably missing a cookie badge, right?

Ok, maybe that was a little much. If you need Thin Mints, though, I’m just saying…

What I found most interesting about this whole business is what it means for my little Princess Puddinette, who’s apparently not just so little anymore. This morning when I left for work, my daughter’s life was largely defined by aspects of my life and that of the Puddinette’s. When I tucked her in to bed tonight, though, she’d magically become a tiny part of the outside world, with cookie sale responsibilities and a club membership of her own, something that was a part of her life, individually.

Now, if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, my internet connection also decided to take a dive this morning. Not only was the Puddinette cut off from her primary source of daytime contact with the outside world, (aka the internets), the greater world beyond was also temporarily deprived of Puddintopia. Obviously, chaos ensued as people everywhere desperately tried to hold together the fabric of civilized society without my words of musing. You know, because finding out how I feel about Big K Cola “Oh!” is obviously pretty important.

Maybe it wasn’t that big a deal, and one probably should expect to lose online access from time to time. It’s not like our connection to facebook or twitter really needs to be supported by 24/7 redundancy. Utilities have hiccups; it’s a fact of life. Luckily, this time it wasn’t Cincinnati Bell’s fault, like it was in the past, after instructing the Puddinette in the steps to power cycle the appropriate hardware, everything was back in business. The whole thing, though, brought me to pondering if perhaps it’s time to consider professional web hosting.

I hesitate to start down that road, for some reason. As long as my server is sitting here, in my home, chugging away, I have total control over everything. Disk space, bandwidth, you name it. No one’s gonna tell me I’m over my monthly throughput quota, by gosh! Of course, the poor thing is running on ten year-old hardware. The CPU fan sounds remarkably like our Monday morning visit from the garbage truck, and the server’s incapable of dealing with the kind of occasional massive onslaught of traffic the internet can serve up.  If I happened to write something novel about Star Wars that miraculously got linked for the millions of hyperlink-happy fans out there, my website would dive faster than Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel.

The thing is, though, the only reason I set my own web host up in the first place is because years ago I decided to make a linux server to toy around with out of some old hardware. I did it because, at my core, in addition to being a craft beer enthusiast and theoretically, a writer, I’m also a big geek. Sometimes I’ll fiddle around with techie things simply because I want to see how the parts work, whether I can make sense of which bits do what thing, and if the end-result works as expected.

That process of fiddling, back when I had time for it, eventually led to Puddintopia. It’s hard, then, to admit to myself that the creation, that end-result, is developing a life of its own and getting closer to outgrowing what gave it birth in the first place.

Sound familiar?

The point in all this is surprisingly not just to regale you with aspects in the Thrilling Life of Puddin. If that were the case, I might have also mentioned that I had some pretty tasty hot and sour soup for lunch AND got my six-month blood pressure check-up (thumbs up…woot!). Yep, my world’s like an action adventure movie sometimes.

No, the point here is that it struck me as more than a little ironic that from those two seemingly unrelated events, I came to a single conclusion. Namely, that many of the things that are important to me, the things I’ve worked hard to nurture, are close to outgrowing my daily control. And as hard as that letting go might seem, it’s something to be proud of, something a parent or creative person should welcome.

Something I need to be careful to stay out of the way of.

Life is kind of funny like that sometimes.