Thursday, August 31, 2006


My niece is moving back to Amsterdam next Tuesday. I say moving, but that doesn't seem to be the right word when the thing you do is to hop on an airplane to go back to where you lived for a year. Moving is when you pack boxes and haul boxes and unpack boxes and well, that's not what Beanie's doing, but she's definately moving. Most definately moving.

Amanda goes by several names. She's the first niece my husband gave me. My sister in law's first child. She has an IQ that's off the charts, a heart the size of all of Europe and doesn't know it but she's not Ok in her own body. Not sure she's Ok in her own world but she seems to be more Ok in Amsterdam than here. Thriving, actually. Scares me that she walks around by herself sometimes, because I'm not entirely sure that although she can speak to anyone about just nearly anything and is empathetic on any level with every kind of human, that she knows or cares which direction her bicycle is pointed. Beanie has such bigger fish to paint.

About her names. Her brother, who came (entirely by surprise) eighteen months after she did, could not say Amanda, and so she became Ma. Sort of pronounced Maw. Thus she was until she protested. At the age of seventeen. Along comes my youngest son four years ago and when he spoke took one look at her and dubbed her Beanie. No one knows why but that is her current name and she is now old enough not to mind it, being nearly thirty years of age and enjoying a four year old cousin's endearing nicky-sweetie-names.

So Beanie came home from Amsterdam in the spring and has been here for the summer, and is now going back for what seems to be EVER. Permanently. The signs are there. The huge yard sale at which she sold everything, including all things most meaningful. When Beanie sells her hats, ohhhhhhh. Furniture, clothes, sold it all. Well you can't drive a moving truck to Amsterdam.

The hats, I can't tell you wow maybe 75% of Amanda's life I have seen her in hats and the theory is that because she was a preemie and back then they kept them in toboggans pulled tightly down over their heads and ears whenever Amanda in her life has felt insecure, or sick, she puts on a toboggan. And just likes vintage, retro hats besides that. She is the original bohemian.

She was in my wedding. She was three. Well, she wasn't in the wedding really. She was all geared up to be, and then at the last minute she chickened out. But she WANTED to be . . . .There oughta be a law that anyone that's in your wedding can't leave the United States. That'd do it. Well, that'd fix it for me, and for her Mama, and her Granny, her brother and best friend. But if I had to guess I would say Amsterdam is where Beanie is most comfortable. Dammit. Tuesday's gonna be a bitch for some Mamas.

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