Posted by: jeannineatkins | July 8, 2009

How Many Places Can You Be?

My daughters’ roommates went back home for a bit, so Em was feeling a bit freaked out coming home from work or class to an empty apartment. I’m visiting for a few days mostly to be someone there, but it’s been so much fun to have time with her. Having breakfast of a new-to-me kind of cereal, looking through a fridge and cupboard where other things were like those at home: the rice cakes, the rye crackers, the hummus, the brand of peanut butter. And on her bookshelves – Mom, there’s New Moon if you get bored – Tudor era novels, art history textbooks, and she pointed out books I wrote. I like the blue, saffron, and silver scarves dangling from the pole in her closet, the pictures all around – those with me when she was little, and the family dogs; more with friends, many taken here where she’s surrounded by so much possibility, so much what-will-come.

After she left for work, I throw in some laundry and begin what I’m calling my writing retreat here. I break to walk for coffee and the smells of flowers are stunningly sweet — or is that sunscreen? Mmmm, a whiff of eucalyptus. And I get to work on nothing that takes place in either L.A. or western Mass, but send myself off to ancient Iraq. Become neither a mom making up a bed for her grown daughter, nor that grown daughter at work in a cubicle or stepping out for a view of the Hollywood Hills. For most of the day, when I’m not folding laundry, or buying coffee in a shop where everyone’s sandals are much more glittery than mine, I’m a sixteen year old girl near the Euphrates River, waiting for news from the moon.

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Responses

  1. LOVE this post. 🙂

  2. Wonderful. I’m so glad it worked out for you to go. One of my local writing friends gets to do this when she visits her grown son in Virginia, and it seems like such a lovely pattern.
    Is that the title of your book—Waiting for News from the Moon? Really lovely phrase.

  3. Yes, I wouldn’t mind this as a pattern — Em read the post and objected to my calling her grown: Nearly grown is okay, mom, but I think if I were grown I wouldn’t need you to do this.
    Hmm, interesting idea re title! Thanks, Becky!

  4. Thanks, Jenny. Their growing up is hard in ways, but has its joys, too.

  5. Oh, she’ll probably read this & hate me, but I think the not-quite-grown part is not realizing that she’ll always want you to be there for this kind of thing. That’s the relationship you guys have, and it’s not going anywhere. 🙂

  6. *Waving to you from Virginia*
    I had wondered where you were :).
    Enjoy your time there with Em and the girl who’s awaiting news from the moon (lovely)!

  7. Thanks for waving and wondering about me, Jama!
    Away and with some internet problems, which I hope to get fixed!

  8. >For most of the day, when I’m not folding laundry, or buying coffee in a shop where everyone’s sandals are much more glittery than mine, I’m a sixteen year old girl near the Euphrates River, waiting for news from the moon.<
    Love this!


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