Submitted By Kristine Haglund
In 2004, I had a LOT of little kids. Well, only three, but it felt like a lot, mostly because the third one was born not quite 44 months after the first one, and none of them ever slept all night. Ever. The smart conversations, black clothes (because, well, baby snot and spit-up show more on black), and 3-book-a-day habits of grad school were a distant memory (or would have been, if my memory wasn’t completely shot). My life had exploded into 5 minute bits–5 minutes of entertaining a 3-year-old, 5 minutes of changing a diaper, 5 minutes trying to breastfeed an infant hanging on for dear life while I tried to keep his siblings from killing or maiming themselves, 5 minutes trying to clean one surface in the house before 9 more got dirty…
Remarkably (if I do say so myself), I was still trying to keep my brain from being completely taken over by concerns about bodily fluids. I had heard that there was somebody putting together a group to read and discuss Mormon Studies papers, and while I was trying to find out where and when they met, I stumbled across the Ur-blog, the Metaphysical Elders, and thence a link to Times and Seasons, which was then in its infancy. I read for about 5 minutes, and then, as always wont to speak my mind long before I’m well-enough informed to do so, dove headfirst (or more precisely, belly-flopped) into an argument with Nate or Russell or Kaimi or (most likely) Adam–someone way too smart for me to be arguing with, especially after 5 years without a full night’s sleep. And I was hooked, instantly. 5 minutes was just the right amount of time to read a post, and almost enough time for me to come up with a coherent comment. I used words I didn’t know I remembered, I decided I should reconsider law school, I was giddy for days when I actually got Nate to argue with me for a full 5 comment exchanges before he got bored, I was reassured that there were Mormons who would like my questions more than the Sunday School teacher in my ward. In short, I found friends. Friends who could fit into the crazy shape of my days, friends who were still there at 3 am when all three children were simultaneously asleep for long enough for me to write a post, friends I trusted enough to stay with in New York even though I had never met them before, and friends like Rusty, whom I trust enough not to EVER post the karaoke video from that first NYC gathering.
5 minutes, 9 friends, multiplied by 5 years. That’s the kind of math I love.