The Arbor Vitae 2013

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Jean's Blog (Check out links to Guest Blogs in lefthand Column)

A woman's world

March 18, 2013

Tags: Passover; Jewish mother; literary agent; author; wedding; grandma

Today, I am part Jewish mother preparing for Passover, that most rigorous of holidays: recipes and the organizing of closets rattling through my mind like the escalating gusts of wind outside that rattle the branches of street trees and tear at the plastic covering on the rosebush on my terrace. Today, I am also part literary agent attending to client matters, sitting at my computer, discussing fonts with one author, publishers with another, and structure of the novel with a third. A tiny sliver of mother-of-the-bridegroom glints here and there as a small part of my mind hovers anxiously over hotel and travel arrangements for my eldest son's wedding in LA. I try to ignore a deep desire to get up and search out something wicked and sweet to eat, but thoughts of the dress I have already bought for the wedding slide in and block out all subversive chatter.
"What's for dinner tonight?" asks my husband as he circles the apartment like a wolf on the prowl. The phone rings. I pick up. It is a recording about revised rates for Con Ed. Again. I slam the phone down and turn to the computer, but the phone rings again, almost immediately. I grab the receiver, prepared to do battle with the robot on the other end, but I am greeted by the voice of the kind lady from Dorot, wanting to run her week's menu by me for me to choose what they will deliver to my 99-year-old mother before the storm kicks in. I am always a wife. Always a daughter.
Tomorrow, they expect snow, rain, and sleet, as I hear the authoritative voice on the radio in my husband's study announce. I am sitting in front of the computer staring sadly at my notes. My concentration wobbles. Tomorrow, at 2:30, I will be shaking out my author hat and sticking it on my head, attempting to cover the havoc wrought by yet another winter storm when it is already supposed to be spring. I will slip and slide to my commitment to give a talk/reading from Sipping from the Nile, at Health Outreach, where I fear gazing out at a vast empty space as our latest unwelcome March storm sweeps all hope of an audience out of reach.
Tomorrow, I get to have a grandma moment in the afternoon, the highlight of my week, as my thirteen-year-old granddaughter comes into view, bowed under an enormous backpack sagging with the weight of all the learning she is supposed to absorb before she starts High School next year. Sighing and expressing concern is useless, but waves of worry take over. Will it ruin her back? "Hi, Granny," She shakes out waves of shiny long hair seductively from her knitted cap, grins disarmingly and lifts her cold face for a kiss, and love floods out the worry. She is a coper, this charming girl, part child, part woman, her chatter scattering itself through my heart like tiny flecks of golden delight. She, too, will lead a woman's life one day, a life of many compartments and many rewards. Yes, the lives of women are quite amazing. I have no doubt she will be more than equal to the task.

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