Feel my withered roots begin to grow

In January, 2008, my husband flew from London – where we were living – to Los Angeles – where we were moving.  It was a house-hunting trip.  He was going to narrow down neighborhoods, visit preschools, and scope out cars, as we had sold ours before moving.  I trusted him because I had to – someone had to stay in London with the boys.  But he also knows me and my requirements, and I trusted that he would look for a walkable area with good air, a preschool that could serve our kids well, and a car with low gas mileage.

When he came back from the trip, he was filling me in as we stood in the kitchen of our little London rental while our two boys watched television.

“Santa Monica has good air, but it’s pricey.  Plus, it can get touristy in the summer.”

“OK, what about Brentwood?”

“Brentwood is nice, but I don’t think you’re going to like it.”

“I think I need to take a pregnancy test in a few days.”

Without missing a beat, without so much as catching his breath, despite the fact that we had always planned on two children, he replied, “Well, then we aren’t getting a Prius.”


Six months earlier, he had looked at my body and commented, “You know, from the waist up, you’re thinner than you’ve ever been.”


Yesterday, I came downstairs to work while my husband was still sleeping.  I read my email and then worked for an hour.  Lilah woke up and I went up to shower with her in the room while J came down to feed Zach.  As I closed the bathroom door, I said, “My agent dumped me.”

I wasn’t interested in hearing his sympathy yesterday morning, but by mid-afternoon, I was ready to talk.  I called him.  “I don’t think it’s time for me to look for a job,” I said.  “What we’re doing is working.  I’m not making a lot of money, but I’m here for the kids.”

“I think that’s right,” he replied.  “Whether or not you sell the book, you are publishing.”

“But it’s going to mean we keep making the sacrifices we’re making, with you doing a lot of childcare and housework so that I have time to write.  You have to be sure you really want this, because it means you have to keep supporting my writing even though we’re not getting much money out of it.”

“I understand that,” he said.  “But since we’re not hiring any extra childcare for it, any money you do bring in is bonus.  If you were in a job, most of the money would go to childcare, anyway”

Sometimes, the man steps in it, but when it counts, he knows exactly what to say.

You’ll need to click over to see the video, but it’s worth it.

12 responses to “Feel my withered roots begin to grow

  1. I’m behind in blog reading, but very sorry about your agent. I’ve personally raised the white flag when it comes to establishing platform. Ugh. I hate even the word.

  2. I don’t know anything about platforms or the writing/publishing business. I do know about making career sacrifices to raise children. For a few years I wondered if anyone would ever hire me to do anything but make peanut butter sandwiches ever again. They did but that’s not my point. I think I was 50 before I finally figured out that some of the bad things that happen have a way of opening doors I would never have dreamed existed.

    You will find your way.

  3. Definitely worth the click over. Made my fella come & listen too.

    Lovely post. Lovely guy.

  4. Well done – true partnership in every sense of the word.

  5. Good man.

  6. Also catching up…hate the platform thing, but glad you’ll keep writing. And the banner pic is great. She’s so big- and love her crazy hair.

  7. sigh, old Billy Joel … now there is an artist.

    A good man indeed. Just when I’m most exasperated with mine, he does what you said — say just the right thing at the right moment. And I remember why we are meant to be together.

    It feels like it takes forever, but I do think we are both on the right paths. Just wish there was more pavement and fewer potholes.

  8. yay for husbands who allow their wives to do what they love, even if it’s not bringing in a ton of dough. I have one of those, too.

  9. And that is why you will continue on, because support like that will keep you lifted up.

  10. I really love the support he’s offered you here. He’s truly there. That’s priceless.

  11. WHAT with your WHAT?! I’m so sorry, Emily.

    Go hubby for being just exactly what husbands were meant to be.