After writing about my twins’ experiences making movies—Sarah as leading lady in Keep the Change
and Max as co-author of Being Charlie
—you’d expect me to change my focus back to real life dramas, right? Not so fast, as it turns out. Coming back to earth from watching my 24 year old son and daughter live their dreams at such a young age, turns out to be a bumpy landing. I tried to immerse myself in global news headlines: the pope… Trump… Putin… the pope… (Snooze). As the family nest manager, I was also busy solving minor problems: the drugs CVS failed to deliver, two broken tea kettles, a
clogged toilet, ink for the printer (more snoozing). With such a paucity of inspiration, I was really hoping that the autism program I attended at Pace would inspire me to write about a new approach to transitioning out of college, job leads for Sarah, anything encouraging or exciting. The panel was an impressive group, but I didn’t learn anything new. I tried calling GRASP, hoping they might help Sarah find a job or provide information that would be useful to aspiring empty-nesters—parents of 20-something kids on the spectrum. An electronic voice told me “no one is here to answer your call,” so I left a message. What was my next idea?
Improbable as it sounds, my next idea was to write about reconnecting with an old friend at—you guessed it —ANOTHER movie premiere. A year ago Carrie Schoenfeld and I had bumped into each other randomly at the gym and recognized each other instantly. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t seen each other since the two of us were friends in the second grade at Lenox more than 50 years ago. Lenox may have merged with Birch-Wathen, and the uniforms might have changed, but Carrie still looked amazingly like the slim, straight haired, blue eyed girl who sported navy knee socks, white Peter Pan blouse and a pleated skirt at age seven. Unlike me, Carrie had always been athletic and musical, sharing a love of piano with her father. So it wasn’t surprising to learn that she loved dance classes (though her favorites were different than mine) and had ended up in the arts.
After a couple of lunches and becoming Facebook friends, we fell out of touch again until this week when I attended the premiere of HER movie, Asockalypse,
which answers the humorous-but-nagging question: What happens to all of your socks that go missing? Answer: Aliens are stealing socks all over the world, and it’s up to the ingenuity of computer-savvy stoners to stop these extra-terrestrial thieves. So far that’s the best (and only) answer I’ve ever heard, and one that will always make me smile when Henry complains about losing his favorite
socks (usually after only a few wearings).
More important than the movie, was seeing my old friend reinvent herself in her 50s after raising two children and working at various jobs. After two years of writing her script, composing the music and lyrics, her movie was premiering at a New York theater. Bravo, Carrie! I couldn’t help but notice that all the pride, excitement and apprehension that I saw in Max’s blue eyes at the Toronto Film Festival were also present in my friend’s nervous smile and restless gaze as the audience filed into the theater.
It takes enormous courage—at any age—to give birth to an artistic creation and wait to see how the world responds. Just knowing that my friend has launched her first movie in her late 50s is tremendously comforting to me as my first book will be published in April 2016. Thanks, Carrie, for leading the way and making an uncertain path feel a little less lonely.