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Betsy Block

Stories without recipes

This Mama Cooks, Too ...

This Mama Cooks, Too ...

The stress of it all ...

and other not-so-amazing coincidences.

Yesterday was a big one for me: I launched my website! I was so overcome when I finally saw it up on the Web that I had to go take a few minutes in my hammock. That it was sunny and 70 didn't hurt.

I've owned for a long time. It's been sitting there in limbo, as they say, for years. Finally, this summer I decided to create a site to go along with my name. I found a great web designer who gently walked me through what was, to this fearful technophobe, a daunting process. Then, just weeks before I was ready to launch, I had a brainstorm: So much better than just my name. Amazingly, the domain was still available. Ever one to believe in the supernatural, I took this as a Sign.

Until yesterday when my site went live and my husband BD came home from work with a funny look on his face.

"I have something to tell you," he said grimly. "I was looking for your site and I found something called thismamacooks. It's by a mom, and it's about food." He was worried I might be -- upset. (As This Mama sagely points out, we're lucky neither one of us has a porn site, although we'd be getting a lot more hits if we were.)

Fortunately, more than a decade of freelance writing has destroyed any vestige of ego I might once have had, so when he told me the news I had no qualms about my lack of originality. But I still felt funny. Was I already unintentionally stepping on virtual toes just hours after my grand Web debut?

I got my web guru and cyber-counselor, Catherine, on the phone. This time no, I wasn't calling about the entire e-mail account I had somehow deleted, but instead about ethics and the Law of the Web. She reminded me that it's a gun-slingin', spur-wearin' cowboy culture out there in cyberspace and that I shouldn't give it another thought. Still, I didn't want to be rude (I would've made a lousy cowboy), so I wrote to This Mama and explained what had happened. Part of me feared a Big Mad Dad might show up on my doorstep, so the next morning I raced to the computer hoping to find a reply. (Meanwhile, BD was asking, "Have these kids been fed? Lunches made?" Sorry, darling.) This Mama had, indeed, written back, and with a graciousness I had hoped for, but certainly not expected. Plus, she lives in Colorado. I was relieved.

What I realized is that on a planet with six billion people and only one Web to trawl, we're going to invade each other's (cyber)space at times. But the way I see it, there's more than enough of the good stuff to go around. Indeed, there are millions of us mamas trying to make dinner and love and life all work out the best we can. If we support each other, imagine what we could cook up. So check out my sister, thismamacooks; tell her the other mama -- the one from Boston -- says hi.