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Jul 20, 201810:20 AM
Joie d'Eve

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

Summer Longing

Ruby is in St. Louis, and I am more or less bereft.

I love summer – but summers are hard. Not just because it’s hot and humid and hurricanes loom big in our consciousness, but also because routine is shot and camp is expensive and – most important – Ruby is gone.

Not “gone” in a bad sense, really, not for her.

First she goes to three weeks of her self-described “happy place,” Camp Point Clear, where I only get to communicate with her via my daily neurotic emails and her hasty postcards (“Lilly is a Seagull! Send stamps!”), and I subsist on a diet of camp emails detailing their field trips and nightly activities and menus, along with a sampling of pictures for me to scour for a glimpse of my daughter and then subsequently overanalyze.

Then she spends the rest of the summer in St. Louis with her dad where, again, she has a blast. So far, she’s been to the pool, played with puppies, visited with cousins, eaten herself sick on gimmicky donuts, slammed other girls around at roller derby camp (roller derby name: Ruby Bruiseday), and made batch after batch of slime.

She misses me, but she’s busy. She’s catching up with her dad. It’s important to her, and I understand that, and at least while she’s there, we can text and talk and FaceTime.

It’s just hard, not having her around, because she’s not only my daughter; she’s my buddy.

I accepted a new job recently (working for my beloved alma mater, Ben Franklin High School), and it was incredibly daunting to make that decision without Ruby’s input. I feel a pang every time I go to Starbucks without Ruby there to buy a $6 “butterbeer Frappuccino” off the secret menu she saw on YouTube (it’s a crème-based Frappuccino with two pumps of Cinnamon Dolce, two pumps of Caramel, and two pumps of Toffee Nut; it makes my teeth hurt, but it’s oddly delicious). We’re going through so much less ponzu sauce with her gone, and that makes me sad because she and I can easily demolish a bottle in two weeks. I can’t even bring myself to watch the old Robert Stack “Unsolved Mysteries” or “Queer Eye” or “Nailed It” because those are our shows.

Not long ago, I was sitting with my friend and fellow mom having a glass of wine while our combined four kids ran screaming around her house. It was the one week of summer that I had Ruby here in town, and she and Georgia hadn’t really started full-on bickering yet. It was such a pleasant, warm night with the sun still up at 8 p.m. and the air full of the scents of rain and night-blooming jasmine, my wine glass sweating in my hand.

“I love summer,” I said contentedly. “I’m not ready for school to start.”

“Are you nuts?” she said, bringing me out of my romantic reverie and back to earth with a crash. “I am already done with summer.”

I wasn’t, not then.

But now, with three-and-a-half weeks left to go, I am.

Be gone, summer. Bring me back my kid.

 

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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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