A Phone Conversation With Emma

Speaking on the phone with Emma has always been challenging.  She tends to forget that there is a person on the other end and often walks away, leaving the phone dangling there before someone either abruptly hangs the phone up, not realizing I’m still there or answers it in a harried sounding voice.  Sadly, since I’ve been out here in Aspen working, both my children and husband remain in New York City, so the only communication I have with any of them is by phone.  This morning I called before the children left for camp – which meant calling them at 5:45AM Rocky Mountain time.  The following was my conversation with Emma.

A rustling sound followed by, “Hi Joe!”

“No, Emmy.  It’s me, Mommy.”

“Oh!  Hi Mommy!”

“How are you Emma?”

“I’m fine.  Have so much fun at camp.  Last day.  Last day summer camp.”

“Two more days, Em.  You have two more days and then it’s Saturday and then you and Daddy and Nicky and Jackie fly out to Aspen!”

“No more summer camp.  Fly to Granma’s house!”

“That’s right Em.  I can’t wait to see you.  I miss you so much.”


“I’ll be at the airport, Em, waiting for you guys.  I am so excited to see you.”


“Emmy, have you enjoyed camp?  What are you doing there today?  Anything exciting?”

Silence.  Then humming.


More humming of a carousel song – whose name I cannot remember.

“Hey Em?”

More humming and the sound of her moving away from the phone until the humming was from far away.


“Oh hi honey.  She took off.  Nic wants to talk with you though.   He was going to call you this morning,”  Richard said.

I then spoke with Nic who informed me that he missed me and Emma did too.  He now knows how to blow bubbles from a single piece of gum, a proud accomplishment and something he had become convinced he would never be able to do.  He’s practicing his Alto Sax and loves it, is playing the piano and is working on a blues composition for it, while learning the guitar, so he is not as good at it, but is still enjoying it.  The sax he is shipping out to Aspen so he can practice while out here and his skateboard he intends to leave in New York.  He explained to me that he plans to buy another one for Aspen so he’ll have one here as well as in New York.  He requested that I find him a bail of hay so he can set up a bulls eye to practice his archery, which I’ve promised to look into.  As he told me all of this I could hear Emma in the background, talking, singing and laughing.  I could hear that Joe had arrived.  As I spoke to Nic, mining him for more information there was silence.

“Hey Nicky!”




“Nic!  NIC!”

“Oh yeah, Mom?”

“Nicky, I was talking to you.”

Sorry.  Joe’s here, playing with Emma.  I got kind of distracted.”

Shrieks of laughter were then heard along with running and more laughing.  Talk about feeling out of the loop!  But also relieved everyone is having a good time and I will get to see them in another four days.  Just four more days…

Emma in her Pink Flamingo costume

For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to:  www.EmmasHopeBook.com

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