It’s been awhile since an update. I know. I’m going to continue as if that never happened.
We left New York when Alice was just 4 months old. When we made the decision to leave we promised we would bring her back regularly, that she’d know that city as well as our new one.
One full week, and instead of fretting over rent, affordable childcare, transportation and all the distracting realities of life in New York we so eagerly left behind, we focused on just enjoying the city. We visited friends, old neighborhoods and restaurants. We swam in warm ocean water and ate bagels and pizza. We did all the romantic things we had meant to but rarely had time for while we were living there: Central Park, The Museum of Natural History, Jane’s Carrousel, the High Line Park and The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
The most amazing aspect of our entire trip was experiencing the city with a very outgoing almost-two-year-old. Where there were once tense, crammed subway rides at rush hour there were now friendly, outgoing individuals smiling and talking at length with Alice. Diverted eyes and random pushes we’re replaced with smiles, waves and the concerned “pardon me.” Even cabbies and uber drivers were double checking her carseat and asking of the baby was comfortable.
I’m not sure how we’ll recover once we no longer cart around this precious toddler who calls out (“close it!” to the subway doors and “sit down” to each new passenger), waves and dances to anything resembling a beat. I guess we’ll need a really cute dog to carry in a handbag.
This Easter Moses went to Los Vegas to celebrate a bachelor’s party and Alice and I decided to visit my family in Missouri. Growing up I spent an incredible amount of time pretending I was someplace else. As a grown up who’s lived in (almost) all of the places I pretended myself into, I can see the charm of where I actually was. Of course, I like where I am–it’s equally important to understand you can value something but “not go home again.” But it is a wonderful place to be.
Alice and I spent long, sunny mornings in the park or longing in the den with toys. When Alice wanted to play we walked across the narrow road to play with the family across the street and there was no shortage of spring flowers to see, cook books to peruse and kitties to chase.
We made tons of granola, some scones and the paper thin, delicate oatmeal crisp cookies my grandmother made (confession: we made them three times) and lots of simple dinners once the baby had gone to sleep. My mother and I had some nice glasses of wine, talked and read some A.A. Milne to Alice (and each other), and I got to visit with my childhood kitties (now totally on their last legs).
My parents bought our house in the early 70s–before my brother and I were born. Both of us grew up in the house and while it’s been remodeled and things come and go, the bones are the same. It’s amazing to put your baby to bed in the room that was yours when you were a baby. I can remember waking up and crying for my mother in the same room Alice woke up and cried in this time around (working hard to see the charm in that). I loved getting Alice ready for bed and saying goodnight, knowing she was hearing the same muffled noises I heard when I was put to bed at night. The circle game…