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by Anita Diamant

When friends ask what Emilia is up to, I say, “She’s moved back to Boston!” But I’ve learned to modify my delight in, having seen the wistful looks on the faces of mothers and fathers whose adult children live in California or Nicaragua or Thailand. “Aren’t you lucky,” they say.

Luck, in this matter, is measured by miles and methods of transportation. Someone could make a pretty penny running a weekend shuttle from greater Boston to Brooklyn. Washington D.C. doesn’t sound so far away, but it is a long drive and a very pricey flight. Being in the same time zone is a bit of consolation; it’s harder to schedule Skype to Seattle than Miami, but the cost of a visit is about the same and the distance is daunting.

I never took it for granted that Emilia was coming back. I remember when she told me that she couldn’t imagine living anywhere but Manhattan; that she might well call North Carolina home for the long term; and that she planned to live overseas. I took her at her word, smiled bravely, and mailed her the glossy Red Sox supplements from the Boston Globe, trying to support her local loyalties without sighing or whining or nagging.

It feels good to uncross my fingers.

A few weeks ago, I asked Emilia if she wanted to see the Bread & Puppet Circus and I’m not sure I would have gone if she hasn’t said yes. This was not something my husband/her father wanted to do and I wasn’t sure who else to ask. So it became a mother-daughter outing, sweet and funky (see photos). And easy. Same thing when she asked me to go see a documentary about high school poetry slams at More Than Words, a non-profit that benefits teens.

Having Emilia here changes the way I experience Boston. My city is bigger because she lives in Jamaica Plain (Boston’s version of Brooklyn, kinda), takes the T to get downtown, and hangs out with friends in Somerville. The occasional presence of her friends at our dining room table is a joy that has the odd effect of making me feel both younger/hipper and very much my own age.

It’s been a great start to the next chapter in our mother-daughter story. I’m eager to find out what’s next.

IMG_4060 IMG_4074Bread & Puppet Circus

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