Tag Archives: subway

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.