I Stand Here Ironing
by Tillie Olsen
Emily Timeline and Summary
- When Emily is born, her mother is only nineteen. Shortly thereafter, the father abandons them.
- Emily is in the care of babysitters and family members while her mother seeks work.
- At the age of two, Emily returns from her father's family's house to live with her mother again.
- A few years later, Emily catches the red measles. Her mother and her new stepfather send her to a convalescent home for eight months.
- As Emily grows up, she helps her mother care for the other children.
- In high school Emily's talent for comedy is discovered and she performs at high schools, colleges, and many different venues in different cities across the state.