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Jun 20, 201410:33 AM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

A Month Away

I am holding on to the hope that Ruby will want to come home sooner because I have no idea how I will manage a whole month without her.

How am I going to make it a month without this kid?

Sleep-away camp was never in the cards for me. I devoured fictional books such as There’s a Bat in Bunk Five and Baby-Sitters Club Super-Special 2: Baby-Sitters Summer Vacation, but when it came to reality, there was absolutely no way that I was leaving my house, my bed, my air-conditioned room, my bathtub, my carefully curated pantry of snack foods. I was not about to sleep in a bunk bed in a rustic cabin with other children or go hiking or eat mess hall food, not in a million years. I didn’t even really like sleepovers, to be honest.
 
Ruby, who continues to be the anti-me-as-a-child, is intrigued by the idea of camp – but this year, she has opted instead to spend the bulk of her summer vacation in St. Louis with her grandparents. 
 
“How long do you want to visit Nana and Pops,” I asked her a few weeks ago.
 
“A month!” she said.
 
“A month?” I said. “No. That is too long. How about 10 days?”
 
“No,” she said, firmly. “A month.”
 
I thought her dad wouldn’t go for it, but he did. I thought her grandparents might veto it, but they didn’t. I was left in the position of either (A) putting my foot down and saying no when everyone else was saying yes or (B) letting Ruby make her own decisions about how she wants to spend her time while making it very clear that if she changed her mind, someone would come get her and bring her home. I decided to go with Option B, but I am holding on to the hope that Ruby doesn’t fully understand how long a month really is and will want to come home sooner because I have no idea how I will manage a whole month without her.
 
“I know exactly how long a month is, Mom,” she tells me, hands on hips. “It’s four weeks, basically. Mostly 30 or 31 days, except February.” 
 
That is the textbook definition, yes, but it feels so much longer than it sounds. When Ruby was gone for a week at Christmas, the fifth day of her absence found me sitting pathetically on her bedroom floor doing a sticker mosaic she had started before she left. How will I make it a month?
 
“I’ll FaceTime you,” she says, casually. “We can Skype.”
 
It won’t be the same. 
 
She leaves tomorrow. She is growing up. She is not my baby anymore. I know it will be good for her. I know she wants the independence and adventure. But I don’t think there are enough sticker mosaics in the world to get me through.
 
Maybe I’ll have to take up needlepoint. 
 
 

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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

about

Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.

She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.

Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.

Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."

She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.

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