Emma and I are heading out to Fire Island this afternoon with my friend, Bobbie. This has been cause for great excitement as Emma has counted the days until we leave. Last night, Emma and I had the following conversation.
Emma: Go to take Bobbie at the beach!
Me: Yeah. Are you excited?
Em: Yeah! So excited to see Bobbie and Mina and Luca. Going to go in the ocean.
Me: Yup, we can go swimming and…
Em: (interrupting) Going to go play in the sand.
Me: Yes. We’re going to spend the night. We’re going to spend two nights there.
Em: (Holding up her fingers) Three minus one equals two! Having a sleepover with Bobbie at the beach. Going to bring Cokie! (Cokie is a scrap of what was once a blanket, measuring about five by three inches and is constantly getting lost leading Emma to panic. We live in dread of this last large scrap one day mysteriously disappearing into the great dark unknown along with the rest of her blanket.)
Me: But Cokie has to stay in your bedroom.
Em: Cokie get lost! Ahhhhh! Who took it? Somebody threw it away. They threw it. You cannot throw Cokie. (All of this was said very quickly in an animated voice, it’s a kind of scripting, but it’s within a context in that Emma is expressing her fears and anxiety that her blanket might get mislaid.) No, not going to bring Cokie into the water. You can’t bring Cokie onto the beach, that’s silly. Cokie might get lost! Cokie will get dirty. Ick! Cokie has to take a bath!
Me: You’re funny.
Em: (Laughing) No. Not going to put Cokie in the washing machine! It’s too little. No, not going to put Max in the washing machine, he’s too big. Max can’t breath. You have to pull him out. That’s too small!
Me: Do you think we should wash Cokie before we take it to the beach?
Em: Nah. Have to gotta go. Max came to the book party. You hit Max. You pull Max’s hair. No. You cannot pull Max’s hair. You have to stop. You can’t do that. Max is hurt! (This is another script, but it’s one she made up and it’s really a spoken memory of Richard’s book party celebrating the publication of his novel a month ago. Max is a great friend and someone Emma adores. When Emma really likes someone she wants to pull their hair and hit them. She is still trying to sort out how to resolve some of these impulses while also connecting and making physical contact with another human being without hurting them. We are working on this.)
Me: Yeah. That’s really hard, isn’t it Em?
Em: Makes me so frustrated! Grrrrr!
Me: (Laughing) Do you feel frustrated now?
Em: Nah! Emma’s happy! Going to go with Bobbie to the beach. Going to have so much fun!
Just before I had this conversation with Emma, I was talking with my friend Ib. She said, “It is easy to picture Emma talking more. She can still be her if she does. She will talk oddly about odd things that she blisses out about while twirling string, and walk away mid sentence.”
And I wrote back, “Yeah, and I’ll (removed explicative) love that! Seriously love that! Because I want to walk away in mid sentence half the time…” Ib then wrote back “And frankly, in your family, it won’t be that odd. Hehe.”
Which made me laugh out loud and filled me with so much hope and happiness with the thought that Em and I could converse the way Ib and I do. And then Emma came home and I told Ib I’d talk to her tomorrow and Emma and I proceeded to have the conversation I’ve transcribed above.
Yup, there are little miracles happening all the time!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! The journey continues…