Tag Archives: New York City

“Why is there so much dancing?”

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Here’s a play-by-play account of how our big day in New York City played out…

8:00 am – Everyone’s in their fanciest clothes. And by fanciest, I mean, most comfortable. I do NOT want to hear “these sleeve bumps are bothering me!” all day. So they are dressed. Period. Not exactly dressed for a Christmas Spectacular at Radio City but I’m not fighting that battle.

8:15 – Shit. I got a paper cut on my texting finger. How am I going to be able to text for help when I lose one of my kids in Rockefeller Center?!?

8:25 – Grab my bag* and we’re out the door.

*Contents of my bag: Z-bars, applesauce pouches, Goldfish, M&Ms, lollipops, one iPad, one DS video game, two books, water bottles, tissues, baby wipes, Epi-pen/Benadryl, change of underwear for one kid, change in socks for another kid and a giant jar of Advil for me.

 And at the last minute, I also remembered our tickets.

8:30 – Aunt Lori drives us to the train station. Says something to the effect of “Wish I was going with you!” I THINK I hear her mutter “sucker” under her breath but I could be wrong.

8:45 – Wait for the train. They’re listening AND super excited. It’s the high point of the day. Kidding! Not really.

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9:00 – Get on the train. It’s packed. A nice woman gives up her seat and moves her bags so the four of us can sit. I see extreme pity in her eyes. I’ll take it.

I just realized RIGHT NOW that I bought a ticket for my 4-year old, who rides free. Grrrr….

I just realized RIGHT NOW that I bought a ticket for my 4-year old, who rides free. Grrrr….

10:00 – 82 rounds of “I Spy” and “Who Am I?” later, we arrive at Grand Central. After having nightmares about losing a kid all night last night, I make them all hold onto me somehow… two hands and a coat-tail.* We are absolutely the most annoying people on the city sidewalks today… a group of four, side-by-side, sort of shuffling because I’m making them all hold onto me, while they stare up at the “super tall buildings!”, stopping randomly to ask about the random puddles of mystery fluid on the sidewalk. The New Yorkers LOVE us.

*I also tried to make them all wear bracelets with my phone number but only the Nibbit would agree. Happy Dude wore his for a whole minute before declaring “This is SO annoyin’ and it’s frustratin’ me.” So I put it in his pocket. Loud One ripped it off two seconds after I put it on and said, “That’s bothering me; I’m not wearing it.” I MIGHT have said, “Fine, if you get lost in a huge Rockefeller Center crowd, don’t come crying to me.”

10:10 – We exit Grand Central and bump into my cousin Meagan, which is a pleasant surprise. Is it wrong that I feel extremely jealous that she is going to work? Alone?

10:15 – I had planned to walk to Radio City but that plan got vetoed so we get in a cab. No functioning seatbelts and an extremely chatty driver who also has two boys and a girl and does NOT recommend bringing them all to Radio City to see the Christmas Spectacular because it’s so crowded and not really worth the money = good times!

10:35 – We arrive at Radio City, take the requisite “Pose like a Ninja in front of giant Nutcracker across the street” shot and head in.IMG_7134

10:45 – The plan is: bathroom, snacks, seats. The reality is: not QUITE the same as the plan. As we approach the bathroom, we see the line winds all the way around Central Park and back. [Slight exagg. Whatever.] I’ve got Loud One whining, “Are we going to miss the show?” I’ve got the Nibbit saying, “I can go to the boy’s room by myself! I won’t look at anyone!” And I’ve got the Nibbit saying, “I weally weally weally have to go RIGHT NOW!”

So we leave the six-mile line and walk straight into the Men’s Lounge. I sit LO on a chair and say, “Close your eyes and don’t talk to ANYONE” before racing the boys straight to the stalls while yelling, “So sorry! My sons really had to go! Girls line too long! Not looking, I swear!”

Gross.

11:00 – Showtime! Lights dim! Music starts! Santa appears! Rockettes kick! Magical things happen! JAAAAZZZZZ HAAAANNNDDDS!

11:15 – Nibbit: When is lunch?

11:30 – HD: I want to go home now.

11:40 – Nibbit: There’s SO MUCH dancing. WHY is there so much dancing?

12:00 – HD: I’m really ready to go home now.

12:15 – All of them: LOOK! OMG, IT’S A REAL CAMEL! ARE THOSE SHEEP REAL?! LOOK AT THAT DONKEY!! ARE YOU SURE THOSE ARE REAL!! I NEVER SAW A REAL CAMEL BEFORE! THAT’S SO COOL!!

12:30pm – Show ends.

Me: Did you guys love it??

Loud One: YES!!!

Nibbit: No. I did NOT like it.

HD: I did not like it either. I liked the camel and the sheeps and the donkeys and the Santas but I did not like the rest like when it snowed and all those girls were dancing all the time.

Nibbit: Me too.

OK then.

1:00 – Lunchtime! While we waited for our food, we played the “Guess what I’m drawing game” and this happened:

I’m not sure what exactly he’s drawing.

 

I asked them, “Do you guys want to go see this show again next year?”

LO: YES!!!

Nibbit: No.

HD: I want to stay home with the Nibbit.

HD may have been a little tired.

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I tried telling them that this was the big tree I was telling them about but they didn’t buy it.IMG_7144
So we went to see the REAL big tree.

I thought I got the perfect picture until I checked it and saw that it looks like HD had been cut out of a picture taken at a scary movie on a really sunny day and Photoshopped into this picture. I have NO idea how this happened and I’m sure I could never make it happen again.

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I tried again and got this “perfect” picture.

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So, it turns out, I was wrong when I said, “It will either be a great day or a great blog post!” because neither was true. In fact, I’d say that the whole experience was … fine.

Just like this post.

PS. This happened on the way home so it should be a nice, late night tonight.

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Alone Time in NYC

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So, I spent this past weekend alone in New York City (well, as alone as one can be in New York City). I cleared the weekend with KJ a while ago when sleep was very much missing from our lives and I thought I was going to lose my shit if I heard “I’m done sweeping!” one more time between the hours of midnight and 4:00am. I didn’t care where I went or what I did; I just knew I wanted to get away.

At the very last minute (like 3:00pm on Friday), I picked New York City partly because it’s convenient and partly because there is so much to do. (NOT that I was worried about being bored. I don’t get bored. Ever. I love reading and watching TV too much to ever get bored. And if I can stay in bed while do so, BONUS.)

So, it’s possible that my brother and city friends are right now saying, “You spent a whole weekend in the city and didn’t call me?” The answer is yes. And I felt a little bit bad about it while I was there, but not bad enough to call because

IT. WAS. AWESOME.

Here are some of the things I did during my 40 hours alone in New York City:

  • I spent way too much money on a TEENY TINY hotel room in my old neighborhood. The room had a small desk, one flat screen TV on the wall and a BIG BED. Perfect for my needs. (Minus the desk. Turns out, I didn’t need the desk.)
  • I walked. And walked. And walked.
  • I went to the Union Square farmers’ market and bought an apple. (That was the only healthy thing I ate all weekend.)
  • I went to three different Barnes and Noble stores and the Union Square branch twice.
  • I had four Starbucks drinks.
  • I read. And read and read and read. I finished one book and started another. I read Real Simple and all about Oprah’s Favorite Things and people.com and a billion blog posts I’ve been saving and even the fancy magazine that came in the tiny hotel room.
  • I got some Christmas shopping done. It wasn’t even part of my plan, but it just started happening, so I went with it. (Guess what you’re getting… BOOKS.)
  • I ate pizza.
  • I slept. I didn’t actually sleep as much as you would think because those damn kids have trained me to wake up early, but you know what’s better than sleeping? Waking up, and realizing that you do not have to get out of bed. Like, for the whole day if you don’t want to. I’m sorry, but there is NOTHING better than that feeling. (Except maybe that feeling plus knowing that you have Cadbury Mini Eggs in your bag.)
  • I watched CBS News Sunday Morning from start to finish! Usually the kid noise drowns out Charles Osgood entirely, so we give up. This was a real treat.
  • I walked some more and ate a bagel.
  • I shopped some more. (I went to ABC Home, which really should be listed as a tourist destination in the guidebooks because that store is crazytown amazing.)

Equally important, here are some of the things I did NOT do:

  • I didn’t talk to anybody!! With the exception of ordering food and drinks and a tiny bit of chit-chat with register people at various retail outlets (“Yes, I found the Cadbury Mini Eggs I was looking for with no problem, thank you very much”), I didn’t have one single conversation.
  • I did NOT go to the Strand. Given my love for bookstores, several people have asked me if I visited the famous independent bookstore. The Strand is very hip, but you can’t find shit and there are no big comfortable chairs. I have no desire to be hip or cool, so I go to B&N where I enjoy the huge, organized shelves of books and toys and the comfortable seating areas and the huge selection of beautiful blank journals that I buy and never use and yes, the SBs. Plus, I did not love this story.
  • I didn’t visit any museums. Or do anything cultural at all. Oh, I did watch a guy play the piano in Washington Square Park for about 30 minutes.
I call park concerts count as culture!

I call park concerts count as culture!

  • I didn’t make any decisions. I didn’t make any meals. I didn’t help anybody with anything! No one asked me tie their shoes, fix their underwear or put on their jackets. No one asked me to locate or explain or pour or reach or decide anything. No one complained that they didn’t like the things I was doing or the words I was saying or the food I was cooking (I didn’t cook!). No one whined. No one tattled. No one invaded my personal space. WINNING. (–> are we still saying that?)

It really was special. I came home feeling very calm. Of course the craziness commenced as soon as I walked in the door, but it turns out, when you recharge for two days, your tolerance for chaos goes way up. (I was going to make an alcohol analogy here, but I realized that it’s actually the opposite of drinking, where if you take a break, your tolerance goes down. Oh well.)

Anyway, I highly recommend doing a weekend alone. Beach weekends with the spouse or girls’ weekends in Vegas are equally awesome, of course, but there was something really nice about being alone. Just be sure to go to a big city… with lots of Barnes and Nobles.

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PS. The whole time I was in the city, I kept an eye out for Brandon Stanton (the photographer behind Humans of New York) and envisioned exactly how our encounter would go should we cross paths. I would confess to him that I’m actually a Former Human of New York. And he would ask me why I left. I would say oh, because I had a bunch of kids and moved to the suburbs. And he would say, how many is ‘a bunch?’ And I would say just three, but it usually sounds like a lot more. We would laugh. And then he would ask what are you doing in the city today? And I would say escaping the kids! And then hundreds of thousands of his mom followers would comment saying things like, I’m so jealous! and I hope she knows how lucky she is! And I’d be all… I do, trust me, I do.

Is that really weird?

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Transportation Day: A Retrospective

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The boys and I went into New York City yesterday to ride as many modes of transportation in one day that we could fit in before meltdowns. (Mine and theirs.) We made it to SIX. (Sort of.)

Over the course of the day, you know what I discovered? Navigating the city with two little boys, who are not accustomed to so much city stuff, is a lot trickier than living there with one baby girl.

I imagine if we still lived there, the boys wouldn’t need to talk about and touch (and in one disgusting case, lick) every single thing we saw. Look at that tall building! Look at all those yellow taxis! Look all those people watch that guy cram himself into a box!

They also paused a lot, which philosophically is great, but in midtown, not so much. Pausers used to drive me crazy. Well, karma’s a bitch because my boys were stopping to smell the roses all over the place… on the sidewalk, in the subway station and most notably, at the bottom of the escalator. But guess what… there are no roses in any of those places. There are only angry New Yorkers that have to get to where they’re going like yesterday. So MOVE IT.

We started here, waiting for the 10:33 train to Grand Central Station.

We are ready to go! We are also ready to pose like a couple going to the Prom!

Two things to note in the next picture: one, I did not instruct them to sit in that exact same position and two, while it looks like I was specifically trying to take a picture of that pretty building in the background, I was not. That could be a prison for all I know.

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Have Cars book, will travel.

They loved the train, but when they got off and saw THIS scene? Well, we could have turned around and gone home and they would have been happy. I wonder if the staff at Grand Central Station knows what an attraction they have here. My guess is no, they just have a storage space limitation problem.

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Aaaaand let the questions begin! “Who drives this cart? Where is that water going? How do they drink that water with no cups? Whose hat is that? Do they have to wear that hat to drive this cart and carry the water?”

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“Why is the sky moving? When I walk around in circles, all those stars move, too. This place is so big. Why is that flag so big? Where are all the trains? Where are all these people going?”

Time to head underground.

*By the way, as a group, we decided that the escalator totally counts as a mode of transportation since it takes you from one place to another. I didn’t get any pictures of them on the escalator because I was too busy holding a stroller, a heavy bag and a two-year old’s hand.

You know what New Yorkers LOVE? Little kids that just stand in front of the escalator building up the courage to step on. Seriously, they love that.

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Waiting for the downtown 6 train. Happy Dude was torn, because while he loved the trains coming and going, he did not love the noise of the subway. He kept covering his ears and saying “TOO LOUD!” And I kept saying, “SUCK IT UP, YOU WUSSY SUBURBAN KID!” Well, not out loud.

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You see that girl reading the newspaper? Well, for some reason, the Nibbit felt compelled to lean over her shoulder and I don’t know, smell her hair or something. I was appalled. “NIBBIT! What are you doing? You can’t just invade somebody’s personal space like that!” She was laughing and said, “Oh, there’s no such thing in New York City.”

Love you random newspaper girl in NYC. And I can’t really blame him, your hair is all kinds of awesome.

Time for lunch!  

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Drinking at Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man

The Nibbit took this next picture of Happy Dude and it’s my second favorite picture of the day.

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Chocolate shake = pure joy

My absolute FAVORITE picture of the day is next. We made it to the bus stop where, the Nibbit asked, “We’re at a bus stop? Do we have to go to school now?” Seriously? Is what we’re doing here not clear at all to you??

I told the boys to stand in front of the sign and smile and I just love the results. Because of the way the boys are looking at each other and holding hands? NO. I love this picture because of that awesomely cute Batman photobombing my shot. He continued to stare at us like that the entire bus ride. I loved him and really wanted him to join us for the rest of Transportation Day but I thought the Mom might get scared if I invited him. And maybe have me arrested.

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Remember the last post I wrote about not judging? Please remember that as you witness the Nibbit’s socks and shoes up close.

OK, so this side entrance to FAO doesn’t make for the classic photo-op offered by the front of the store, but the front was sooooo far away and we were getting sooooo tired by then….

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… not too tired to scare pigeons though!

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Last vehicle of the day… taxi!

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Holding their new souvenirs (Cars, of course), we made our way back to Grand Central.

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The train ride home was a little bit more challenging than the earlier one… mostly because I spent an hour desperately trying to keep the two of them awake. Naps at 4:00pm = BAD for Mom.

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Pulling into our station, I said, “Hey guys, we’re almost home. What’d you think of Transportation Day?!?”

Nibbit: Fine.
Happy Dude: Good.

WTF??

Me: Well, I LOVED it. I CAN’T WAIT for our next adventure!
Nibbit: What’s it going to be? Can we go to the candy store?
Me: <sigh> How about thumbs up for Transportation Day?

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So here’s our final tally:

Minivan – CHECK
Train – CHECK
Escalator – CHECK (Shut up. It counts.)
Subway – CHECK
City bus – CHECK
Taxi – CHECK

Nobody completely losing their shit – CHECK.

WINNING.

He said YES!

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Yesterday, I read THIS AMAZING STORY in the New York Times Opinionator blog. I hope you did, too. But if you didn’t, go ahead and click the link and read it now. (Or don’t because I basically summarize the whole thing here.) But trust me, this story will warm your heart and make you smile and maybe ugly cry, just a little bit.

It will also make you want to stalk this family AND the judge that helped them to become a family and force them all to be friends with you because you just have a feeling that you would get along really well and share a lot of laughs over Thai food.

And finally, it will make you want to immediately get into your car and drive into New York City and comb all of the subway stations just in case there’s another newborn baby wrapped in an oversized, black sweatshirt that needs a home.

No? It didn’t make you want to do all of that? OK, me neither. But come on, what if there is a newborn somewhere by the Union Square 4-5-6 station that NEEDS me?? Stop it. Fine.

So, now that you’ve read the article… I have a few things to say.

First of all, I just keep thinking about that first phone call. Imagine your boyfriend of three years calls you and says, “I found a baby!” What must run through your head?? What? Where?? How?? WTF??? The author, Peter Mercurio, says that his partner, Danny is “by nature… a remarkably calm person, so when I felt his heart pounding through the phone line, I knew I had to run.” So, he ran.

Second of all, this was my favorite part:

“Three months later, Danny appeared in family court to give an account of finding the baby. Suddenly, the judge asked, “Would you be interested in adopting this baby?” The question stunned everyone in the courtroom, everyone except for Danny, who answered, simply, ‘Yes.’”

YES.

YES!!

Yes, I would be interested in adopting this baby. Yes, this baby that I found in the subway. Yes, this baby that I don’t know anything about. Yes, this baby that I didn’t even know that I wanted.

Turns out, Danny and Peter had been together for three years but had never discussed adopting a child together. Their lives were “not geared for child rearing.”

According to the author, they had jobs that were not conducive to parenting schedules. They had financial boundaries. And they knew that as a gay couple, they would face difficulties trying to adopt.

But DANNY SAID YES.

Don’t you love that he said YES!?!

The story just gets better from there. They thought they would have to wait nine months before the baby would come live with them… but he came a week later. Just before Christmas. A Christmas miracle.

They spent a year as foster parents before being legally allowed to adopt him. When they met the judge again for the official adoption, Peter (I’m sure they won’t mind my using their first names, being as we might be friends and all) questioned the judge about why she had asked Danny if he was interested in adopting the baby.

And the judge said, “I had a hunch. Was I wrong?”

NO! She wasn’t wrong! How awesome is this judge?! Don’t you just want to hug her and buy her dinner and make her President of the United States??

I am no expert on adoption, but I imagine this judge bypassed a whole bunch of red tape and BS in order to give this shiny-new, innocent, perfect baby to people who, while nervous about their parenting abilities (who isn’t?), felt SO SURE that they could love him better than anyone else.

And guess what. They have.

In 2011, when New York decided it was OK for Danny and Peter to get married, their son – Kevin, who’s 12 now – suggested they find that same judge to perform the ceremony.

She, of course remembered them and they had one big, happy reunion.

I love EVERYTHING about this story.

Well, I thought I loved everything about this story, but then I shared it with the Loud One. Now I love almost everything about this story.

When I told the Loud One, I gave her all the most important details – man found a baby in the subway, called his boyfriend and said, “I found a baby!” judge asked him if he wanted the baby, he said YES – isn’t that crazy that he said YES?!? – they took the baby home, the boy grew up, the Dads were finally allowed to get married, they went back to the same judge, she married them and met the son and for all these years they’ve been one happy family!”

And then I said, isn’t that a GREAT story??

She smiled… hesitantly… and then paused… and I thought, Hmmm, is she going to ask about the gay Dads? Or about the adoption thing? Or about why they weren’t allowed to get married sooner?

Nope.

She asked, “Did the police find the person that left that baby in the subway and put them in jail?”

Huh. I guess that’s the one part of the story that isn’t so great.

I told her that I didn’t think so. But that whomever left the baby there probably felt like they couldn’t do a good job as a parent and hoped that whomever found the baby would take better care of him then they could. And that even though that part is very sad, the story has such a happy ending.

I told her that sometimes, when it’s meant to be, families just find each other. Even if they don’t know they’re looking.

I told her that there are all different kinds of ways to make a family – sometimes babies are born, sometimes they’re adopted, sometimes families blend together –and isn’t that awesome?

YES. Yes, it is.

Sometimes GOOD things happen on (or near) the subway.

Sometimes GOOD things happen on (or near) the subway.

Sandy, Part I

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OK, I’m finally sitting down to write this.  The Twix bars are gone. No more excuses.

(Wow, “The Twix bars are gone. No more excuses.” That should totally be an ad for Nike or something.)

As I’ve mentioned to some of you in person or via Facebook, I’ve had a VERY hard time with this post. If I considered myself a writer, I’d say I have writer’s block. It’s possible that I’ve put SO MUCH sugar into my body that it’s physically blocking all brain activity. (This might also explain how the Loud One beat me at Blokus today.)

More likely it’s that this whole Sandy ordeal has been such an emotional roller coaster and I can’t figure out the right tone in which to express it all. Sarcasm is my native language but that doesn’t seem quite right. Yet, earnest from me might seem kind of wrong, no? Anyway, I’ll try to strike a balance.

First and foremost, let me say that I am so relieved that my friends, family and neighbors are safe and sound.

We are also grateful to be among a very small percentage of people in our town that have not lost power. (Being as there is a huge tree leaning on power lines about one block away, I’m going to knock on some serious wood right now.)

Our door is opened to friends and family members (and their friends and family members!) who may need to recharge (literally and/or figuratively). We’ve had only a few people take us up on that; I’m assuming it’s because, well, The Nibbit lives here. And they’ve met him.

For what it’s worth, I do recognize the absurdity of my saying “this has been such an emotional roller coaster” when really, we have escaped unscathed. But it’s my blog and I’ll whine if I want to. I blame the Twix. All the sugar has made me angry.

Anyway, in an attempt to organize my thoughts on Sandy, that bitch, I decided to work with a method I know best. Bullet points.

Yup, it’s a list. A two-part-over-two-days list. For today, I present…

PART I: The Things that Suck(ed) the Most about Sandy

  • The Anticipation
    All day on Sunday, we waited and wondered. How bad will it be? It can’t possibly be as bad as they’re saying it will be… right? I had family members debate whether they should really evacuate their homes. (They did. It was the right call.) We went to bed on Sunday night not knowing what we would wake up to. And we woke up to… nothing. Sandy didn’t really start kicking until much later in the day.
  • The Actual Storm (duh)
    • The Wind– It didn’t get really dicey until Monday night. But from about 7:oopm to midnight, those winds were scary. We don’t have too many trees surrounding our property, but we have a few in the back that were swaying and bending like really, really tall Sky Guys.

      Woooaaah, Sandy is NOT my friend!

      After debating where to sleep, we put the kids to bed in their regular rooms and then I promptly spent the next five hours regretting not putting them in the basement. I just kept picturing the headline: “Tree Falls on Kid Sleeping in Regular Place During Sandy!” And people everywhere would have been all, “What the hell was that mother thinking putting her kids to sleep in their regular place?!? Did she not notice the HURRICANE happening outside her windows? Who doesn’t put their kids in a much SAFER place… LIKE THE BASEMENT?!?”

      I know. Next hurricane? BASEMENT.

    • The News – or lack thereof. While I know many people would have killed to have ANY news coverage, watching it during the storm was a bit maddening. Nobody could really tell us anything… the reporters all stood in the dark, near different bodies of water and basically said, “It’s VERY windy and see this water lapping at my feet? It’s going to get a lot deeper soon!” over and over again for about five hours.
  • The Aftermath
    • My Area: So many of my family, friends and neighbors are still struggling with no power, no water, house and/or property damage. I’ve heard a bit of bitching from strangers about the utility company’s slow response, but from the people I know, I’ve only heard, “I can’t complain. It could have been so much worse.” Let me just say, I’m so glad to know you, compassionate people.
    • Jersey: The devastation caused in New Jersey is heartbreaking. The images and video footage of so many Jersey Shore communities brings me to tears at least twice a day.Like so many others who grew up in Jersey, I have many incredible memories of time spent down the shore. For me, it was weekends at my friend Mush’s beach house in LBI. Her kind parents welcomed large groups of loud teenagers into their home again and again and I will cherish my memories of those weekends forever.For the past two summers, we’ve taken our kids to Long Branch, NJ to experience a “real beach… with real waves.” (No offense Compo.) I haven’t seen photos of the resort yet, but I can’t imagine it fared well.My heart breaks for the families that live there or spent their summers there… families who have lost their homes and even their hometowns.
      • Side note: it’s time for Snooki and the Situation to step up. Seriously. For reasons you and I will never understand, those Jersey Shore stars have fans. And they need to start using their star power for good instead of their usual evil. You hear me, JWoww?
        • Editor’s note (which is somehow different from a Side note): I just saw on Facebook that I’m actually not the only one that thought of this! Great Jersey Minds! There’s already a push to get the Jersey Shore crew together for a fundraiser. While it’s very scary that people would pay money to see them, I think they should do whatever it takes.
    • New York City – I mean, COME ON. Hasn’t this city been through enough? Seeing the FDR and parts of the East Village underwater is shocking… and very, very sad. The fact that mass transit has been basically shut down for three days is unprecedented. Now we all know how tough and badass New Yorkers are, so obvs the city and its residents will be fine. But it still just sucks. (Look, I never promised you articulate.)
    • And of course, all of the rest of the areas affected by Sandy’s wrath. Here’s hoping that communities all over the East Coast can pull together in spirit (and possibly with manual labor) to get their towns back to business as usual.

Because ultimately, the show must go on. (And it has! Broadway is open for business!)

It’s still OK to like this Sandy

Last but not least on the list of The Things That Sucked Most About Sandy?

  • The Weight Gain– Clearly not as devastating as the destruction caused by the hurricane, but still the pile of empty candy wrappers on my desk (and in my garbage… and in the garbage by my other desk… ) is my own personal pile of hurricane rubble. And it ain’t pretty.But I learned something… Twix does not solve problems. In fact, I’m pretty sure it causes writer’s blogger’s block.
    • Side note: “Fun Size” –> code for “Eat At Least Ten of, Maybe More, Size”

OK, so that’s the bad.

Tomorrow I’m going to be all Pollyanna and tell you about the Silver Linings of Sandy. Because you know, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow and all that shit.

Letting Go (a little bit)

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When the Loud One was brand-new, I mean like I-still-don’t-know-which-way-is-up-because-this-baby-is-completely-rocking-my-world brand new, I took her for our first walk around our New York City block.

My goals were minimal:

  1. Go one square block without actually losing her.
  2. Don’t cry in public. (Like many new moms, I was crying A LOT back then… hormones are like little bitches that call you fat and ugly when you’re at most vulnerable.)

Mission: FAIL

I was just about halfway; I had made it to the second of four corners (hey, I did math stuff!) and was waiting for the light to change so I could cross the intersection. All of a sudden, I heard sniffling.

“Wait, someone is crying,” I thought to myself, “… is it me? No! Woohoo! Someone’s crying and it’s not me!”

So, I looked over to my right and there was a woman, weeping, and a young girl with an arm around the crying woman’s shoulders.

(I tried to give a look of sympathy, but I was so exhausted and could barely open my eyes, so who knows what THAT face looked like. Probably more like, “I’m on drugs and I’m on my way to Washington Square Park to buy them” than “I have a newborn and am not sleeping much at all.”)

The woman took a quick peek at the Loud One in the stroller and said, through her tears, “Oh, she’s beautiful. Enjoy every minute because it goes by so fast!”

She’s six now. It really does go fast.

And then that poor woman really lost it. Sobbing. Uncontrollably.

The young girl gave her a hug, gave me an eye roll over the woman’s shoulder and said, “Today’s my first day at NYU. She’s dropping me off at the dorm right now.”

Well, FORGET. ABOUT. IT.

I, of course, started sobbing and now this poor, young girl was stuck standing with two crazy, crying ladies when all she wanted to do was get back to her new dorm room and meet her new roommates and start her new life.

That 18-year old girl was, at that moment, the ONLY person on the corner of 9th and University that had her shit together.

I have read a bunch of very poignant blog posts recently about parents bringing their kids to college, including this one and this one (reprinted from last year).

It’s a similar story each time… Mom and Dad are sad, but they recognize that they have to let their kids go and live their lives. Live their dreams. And hopefully soar. (And yes, drink too much.)

After all, isn’t that our ultimate goal? To raise our kids to be strong and independent and willing to fly from our nest and do great things? Or maybe just fly from our nest and be happy? Or maybe just fly from our nest, period?

See what I did here? With the kite soaring? (C’mon, It’s symbolism, people.)

I think about that woman from 9th and University all the time. If all went according to plan, that young girl probably graduated from college two years ago.

What is she doing now? Did she get a job? Does she have younger siblings? Did they go to college? Did their Mom cry just as hard when they left? Are they still close? How long did it take the Mom to stop crying? (Because it took me about 12 weeks with each kid.) Maybe that girl is married now… can you imagine how hard her Mom must have cried at her wedding?? And at the birth of her first grandchild???

Anyway.

Next Monday, MY baby will start preschool. I will have to drop him off and leave him there. Without me. (Just for a few hours, but STILL.) It’s not college, obviously… but it’s still bittersweet. I know he’ll be fine. As for me, I’m sure I’ll cry. I still blame the effing hormones. (Only now it’s pre-menopause. Oh sorry, TMI? I’ll save that for another post.)

HD saying goodbye to the Loud One on her first day of school. Soon it will be his turn. <sniff>