The House Of Quilts

As I write this, Miss A has set up camp in the family room. She has draped a giant quilt over two chairs and claims she has moved into her new home. A pack of muffins and a couple of stuffed toys share her current dwelling.  She has two handbags and two hats – clearly, one needs to be ready in case fancy dinner invites come a-calling. She also has a phone in case I need to call her. No, I cannot just go door-knocking – and not just because the house of quilts and chairs doesn’t have a door.

I have drafts to re-edit, a presentation to put together and a whole bunch of socks to wash. Acutally, the socks are more important at this point in time, but we will let that pass. The point of sharing my laundry details with you (note to self: resist puns about dirty linen) is that I have heaps to do and I should be happy that she has moved into her little tent for the day. But I am not. Already, I have crawled into her tent a few times and have been firmly and politely pushed out.

“Come and have lunch”, I say.

“Not now”, she says. “I am not hungry, Mum”

“Do you want a snack?” I ask

“I have the muffins”, she says. The muffins are from the bag she packed yesterday when she told me she was running away because I made her practice her viola. Yes, that is fodder for another post. It was raining and she kind of loves her viola, so she agreed to come back inside.

So, I call her on the fake phone. Except, she asks me to leave a message. Because she is getting ready to take the stuffed toys out for the the day and she cannot talk to me right now.

I follow her around the house, moping a tad.

“Maybe you could mind my house for me” she suggests. Because she is busy and stopping to talk to me every now and then is slowing her down.

I am the keeper of her memories,the guardian of her dreams, the keycode to her likes and hates. I am the official demon that makes her repeat her times tables and the homework nazi that makes her rub out words that are not spelt correctly the first time. Some days I am little else other than being the wrapper around her world.

One day she will have her own world with real doors. And I will have to knock. Or call. Perhaps I will offer muffins on these days in the future when my daughter is no longer camping out under the same roof in another part of this very room.

But now and here, when she asks to mind her house, I leave my drafts and my laundry and my Sunday lunch and offer to move into her tent.

“No, you don’t need to do that”, she explains with much genteel patience lacing her voice. “Look after the house from where you are.”.

And so, perched on the couch, alternating between work and words and things bubbling and hissing on the stove, with the May winds whipping up a gale outside, I look after the little world she has created for herself while she explores her surrounds. 

“Are you going to be long?”, I ask her.

“You can go and do something else if you like, Mum” she says.

There is nowhere else I would rather be. She doesn’t know it but that tent is my house too. Because my heart follows her around like that. One of those days when I am little else other than the wrapper that makes up her world. One of the good days.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ardra
    May 22, 2011 @ 13:05:36

    Heart warming and heart breaking too. loved it.


  2. Rajavel
    May 22, 2011 @ 13:59:28

    :)(: ! How beautiful ! What a delightful blog !


  3. Altoid
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:22:12

    :). Does A need more occupants? I could move in too…adopt me!


  4. bilbo
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:32:58



  5. enig
    May 24, 2011 @ 12:40:22

    amazing…simply amazing. One of your ‘To A with love’, masterpieces Scarlett…with all the love you’ve strewn around, I wanna move in too..


  6. scarlettletters
    May 30, 2011 @ 12:44:38

    Ardra, Rajavel, Billy – thanks 🙂

    Alty and Enig – I will adopt you too, move down here. You ready to do times tables on Sundays? 😛



  7. Seema
    May 30, 2011 @ 13:38:51

    Completely heartstring tugging words. Brought tears of emotion into myu eyes. ‘I am the wrapper that makes up her world”. Exactly my thoughts..for my children, all grown up and moved into their own houses of quilts.

    I love your writing, the magic you weave with words, thoughts, love and emotion. The magical quilt of safety, warmth and love. Which Miss a will appreciate and understand, and re-live some day.


  8. Captain Nemo
    Jun 04, 2011 @ 16:26:43

    Beautiful one… Oh! the pleasure and pain of seeing a kid grow up and evolve!!!


  9. scarlettletters
    Jun 12, 2011 @ 12:43:46

    Thanks Captain 🙂 Much pleasure and pain indeed.


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