In three more days I will be home. Home with my two children, Nic and Emma, my husband, Richard and our black cat, Merlin. Everyone but Emma and Merlin understand that I’ve been away for so long because of work. I guess I should rephrase that – I don’t actually know whether Emma understands I’ve been away because of work. Perhaps the reason why I’ve been gone so long is meaningless to her, she just knows I’m not there. But on Friday when she returns home, I will be waiting for her with open arms. I don’t like being away this long. I don’t like having so many miles between me and my family.
When I spoke to Emma on Sunday she said, “No, you cannot spit. If you spit Mommy will leave.”
“Oh Em, you didn’t spit. I didn’t leave because of anything you did,” I said.
“There is no spitting!” Emma shouted into the phone.
“Okay Em. I’m really glad to be speaking with you, tell me about your day.”
“No you cannot spit. There is no spitting or Mommy leaves.”
“Sweetie, tell me about your day. What did you do today?”
“No spitting. Bye Mommy,” she said before casually putting the phone down and walking away.
Sometimes one waits then, hoping the chaos that constitutes our life in New York city isn’t so much that everyone forgets about the phone and the person on the other end. Sometimes one has no other choice than to eventually hang up. Once, after hanging up, I tried to call back only to receive a rarely heard busy signal.
But this time after a few moments Richard returned. “Do you think she thinks I’m gone because I’m angry with her?” I asked.
“No. I heard her, I don’t know what that was about,” he tried to reassure me.
Being away is like entering an alternate universe. It’s familiar, a bit like seeing an old friend from high school. It’s easy to fall back into a kind of routine, but my children and husband are always there in my head. I am here to work, so I do. But I still have time to socialize with friends, Sunday I even took the entire day off and went for a much needed long, long walk with a friend. I can say yes when someone asks me to have a coffee with them. My life is completely different here from my life in New York. In many ways it’s wonderful, calm, relaxing, yet I’ve been weepy ever since I arrived. Being able to have feelings and have the time to look at them, talk about them, it’s all a luxury really. One needs the time and space to indulge them. So I’ve been blogging about some of those things – the existential quest that most of us feel at certain times in our life, the searching. That too is something that needs time, a certain silence to be able to fully indulge.
I have no answers, I continue to search though.
For more on my family and Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism go to: www.EmmasHopeBook.com