Tag Archives: parenting and work

The Aftermath

Richard and I returned from Jerusalem and the icare4autism conference Friday evening.  It was so good to see Emma again after being away for an entire week. The three of us spent the weekend in NYC and then flew to Colorado where we were reunited with Nic (whom I haven’t seen in a month) looked after by my doting and wonderful mother.  I have at least three hours of recordings from the conference to transcribe.  I must write about the conference in greater detail, I have a great deal of work to do for my business, the one that actually brings in money, and I want and need to spend time with my family.  I’m tired.  That’s what I keep thinking.  But there’s more to it than that and I haven’t figured out yet what that exactly means.  There’s panic.  How am I going to get everything done?  But there’s something else, something I haven’t put my finger on yet.

It’s 4 AM (I’ve been up since 3) but you could tell me it was 1 in the afternoon and I’m so turned around I’d just nod my head.  So rather than say any more I’ll end with this – a little scene from last night.

Em:  Play duck, duck, goose?

Me:  Yeah, okay.

Em:  With you (points to me) and me (points to herself) and Nicky and Daddy and Granma?

My mother: What’s duck, duck, goose?

Nic:  You’ll see.

Everyone sits at the dining room table as Emma stands waiting. 

Em:  (Going around the table, while placing her hand on each person’s head)  Snow.  Snow.  Snow.  Snow.

My mother:  Should I do something?

Nic:  No Granma.  You have to wait.  She’ll say something different.

Em:  (Grinning, pats Granma on the head)  Raining!

Richard:  Oh no!  Emmy you have to pick someone else, Granma can’t run.

My mother:  (Looking horrified) I’m suppose to run?

Me:  (Laughing)  Yes, you’re suppose to run after her.

Em: (With mischievous grin)  Granma run?

Richard:  No, Emmy pick someone else, Granma can’t run.

Em: (Continues to go around the table) Snow. Snow.  (Puts hand on Richard’s head and hesitates.  Then shouts)  Raining!

This game continued for several rounds with Emma occasionally directing when things weren’t going as she felt they should.

Em:  Okay.  Last time for duck, duck, goose.  

When she’d finished going around the table, picked someone and after lots of screaming and laughing my mother said, “That was a great game!”

Em:  Play again?  (Looks around the table grinning)  Okay, okay, later.  Play duck, duck, goose later.  Tomorrow.

It’s good to be home.

Em on the High Line Sunday

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