Sunday, April 6, 2008


This photo was taken last Mother’s Day in my friend Kate’s back yard in Chicago. I was in town that week to help my daughter Hazel move out of the dorm and into her first apartment. We were absolutely exhausted after having to pack up her entire year’s worth of stuff and get it all across town and up a couple flights of stairs. Not to mention trying to clean the dorm room - she and her roommate Libby could give guys a lesson in slovenly bachelor behavior.

All I really wanted to do that day was go to a nice restaurant, or get a pedicure. But Kate had been kind enough to arrange a little concert for me to play and I sorely needed the money. In a way it was typical for me and Hazel to have some bizarre hybrid experience involving me doing a gig. For better or worse that had pretty much been our life together up to this point.

It was tough to get up the energy to strap on my guitar. And my well-meaning daughter had come along to the concert with me (“Sure Mom, I want to see you play”), then passed out in one of the bedrooms upstairs for pretty much the entire set.

Until I started playing “Dancing With Joey Ramone". She loves that song and even sang on the record. As I strummed the opening chords, she came stumbling out of the house in her little plaid coat, took her place beside me and came in right on time. I suddenly felt completely happy.

So why does looking at the picture, and writing about it, make me cry?

It's not the fact that I'm performing in mulch. Or that those jeans are hideously unflattering.

It's how Hazel still looks so much like a kid here(though always more self-possessed than I ever could be). How I used to know every item of clothing in her closet. How I still wonder what exactly it is I'm supposed to be doing, without her around.

Prompted by Sunday Scribblings


Rosie said...

dont worry, it makes me cry looking at it too! But for the nicest of reasons. Remembering darling d singing backing vocals for me on Beatle songs! How will they remember their childhoods eh? I missed her so much recently when she went to England for the week. It's just not the same with sons, well not in my experience! My granny used to say that a daughter is for ever but a son is only till he marries. It will be hard when she finally goes for good...

Rosie said...

I've just had another look at your photo and in spite of those trousers you look far too good. I dont think that we had better ever meet in the flesh or I will be too bad tempered...I'd better start dieting now

murat11 said...

"Performing in mulch." New album title?

I've been a silent visitor out your blogway, ever since Will Ferrell's falsetto sent me Eric's way. Loved his memoir and have come to really enjoy dropping in on your (and his; glad to see he's back) adventures.

Great picture: great story, as always.

murat11 said...

Furthermore: you've got me hooked on Sunday Scribblings.


Anonymous said...

You're crazy, you look great in that photo! Your daughter is equally adorable and I really like her fashion sense.

tumblewords said...

Oh, I'm crying too and yet it's such a wonderful picture and your words are so eloquent... You and she are beautiful!! Truly beautiful!

Granny Smith said...

What a wonderful mother-daughter photograph! You look a lot more like sisters, though. What is your secret of eternal youth.

I know the answer, of course: music.

Devil Mood said...

Oh *hug*
Mothers and daughters :) I always wantedto have a daughter more than a son; perhaps it's harder but when it works, it WORKS!

The photo is spectacular, the light is fabulous, you both look unbelievably cool :)

paisley said...

oh amy that was a beautiful post.. i am so thrilled you stopped in and left me a message so i could find your wonderful blog... i just saw you name mentioned somewhere in my blog travels yesterday,, but i failed to venture over here... now i am sorry i did... nice to meet you....

a ha,,, that is where it was murat11!!

amy said...

Your comments to this post were so sweet, it just made me feel good. Rosie, I always thought it would be such fun to have a son too, but somehow less pressure? PS I think the sari is the way to go, it must look amazing on you.

Murat it's nice to meet you. Yes, I'm glad Eric's writing again, finally he has his own office after being stuck in the hallway for a year. And I agree, if I can't get to Sunday Scribblings I feel like something's missing!

Le Tigre you would love my daughter's taste in music too - French pop is huge for her.

Sue, Granny Smith, Devil Mood and Paisley, you are some of my favorite reads on Sunday, always love to see what you have to say, so many thanks for writing.

Michele said...


Hazel sounds wonderful. As for crying, I do it and my kid (okay so she's an adult, officially)is nearby.

But we only cross paths - rarely do we spend an hour together. I can get teary-eyed thinking about the days she used to run to me when I walked through the door. And I miss the days we'd spend at the beach together.

She's here, but she's grown up - she wants and needs her space.

Sounds like Hazel and my Lauren are around the same age. Sounds like you've done a wonderful job.

By the way, I love this photo. Hazel looks so sweet. And you look great in those jeans.