“‘Lord,’ [Orlando] thought, as she raised the sugar tongs, ‘how women in ages to come will envy me! And yet--’ she paused; for Mr. Pope needed her attention. And yet--let us finish her thought for her--when anybody says ‘How future ages will envy me,’ it is safe to say that they are extremely uneasy in the present moment.”--Virginia Woolf, Orlando(1928)
It’s May and everywhere people are graduating. Yesterday, we braved it into the wilds of Connecticut to celebrate with one of my very best friends in the world: her husband finished his Ph.D!
The beloved toddler was down below, watching a video with the other babes. I sat nursing a cup of white wine at the breakfast room table. I looked around and saw my husband, my dearest beloved friend with her baby, and two senior faculty members from graduate school. Now, when we were in school, these two men were legend already. Now, a decade later, they bear themselves like great and successful senior professors. Although they do not teach in what was my department, I knew of them and about them. Suddenly, here I was, sitting and talking like a normal person about summer plans, about how Jersey City has and hasn’t changed since one of their wives grew up there. I thought, “Wow! Here I am sitting with these two legends. Who would have thought, a decade ago when I was toiling away in the library—“ Just then, my husband interrupts my reverie, “Hon--” and the beloved toddler swoops into view, in the arms of a willowy young babysitter, “Mommy, I need you to change my diaper.”