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Pickle Me This

July 8, 2010

I would like to give her more

“It is time for the baby’s birthday party: a white cake, strawberry-marshmallow ice cream, a bottle of champagne saved from another party. In the evening, after she has gone to sleep, I kneel beside the crib and touch her face, where it is pressed against the slats, with mine. She is an open and trusting child, unprepared for and unaccustomed to the ambushses of family life, and perhaps it is just as well that I can offer her little of that life. I would like to give her more. I would like to promise her that she will grow up with a sense of her cousins and of rivers and of her great-grandmother’s teacups, would like to pledge her a picnic on a river with fried chicken and her hair uncombed, would like to give her home for her birthday, but we live differently now and I can promise her nothing like that. I give her a xylophone and a sundress from Madeira, and promise to tell her a funny story.” –Joan Didion, “On Going Home” from Slouching Towards Bethelehem

4 thoughts on “I would like to give her more”

  1. Sara says:

    Terribly poignant passage if you have read Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking.

    1. Kerry says:

      I know. Didion is an ice cold writer, except when she has a headache or crying, but even still, I think she must have been a pretty good mom. Lucky kid too to have Joan Didion telling you stories…

  2. patricia says:

    This is a beautiful piece. Makes me want to read the book. Year of Magical Thinking was amazing.

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