So I’m in New York City for my adventure with Maren. It’s just she and I for the week until Brad joins us for the last few days. Greta is not coming with us because I just don’t think she would enjoy it. And, to be very honest, hauling a potty-training two-year-old around an unfamiliar city would make things a lot less fun for me. So this week I have to settle for missing her tremendously and planning a special Mommy-Greta trip where she will get her own special time.
I’m actually not much of a city girl. Beaches are more my scene, though I’ve clocked a lot of enjoyable lake time as a midwestern girl so perhaps my magical combination is water and warmth. When trip-planning season popped up in November/December, Dr. Wonderful gently steered me away from the beach/sun idea. Some of the drugs I’m on make me extra sun-sensitive, which is comical because I’m already a pink-skinned redhead. I also have lingering toe and nail issues which are incompatible with sand. Once surf and sand were off the list, it was a head-scratcher for me to decide where to go with Maren; our timing was dictated by her spring break. I settled on NYC because it’s outside my box, but full of promise and adventure. I find that whenever I do something risky and even a little uncomfortable, it always ends up being pretty stinking awesome.
In almost every married couple I know, there is a Trip Planner and a Go Along For the Ride-er. I’m the Go Along Girl in my marriage, and Brad is a masterful planner. This isn’t even “his trip”, and he still found me the perfect hotel, great ideas of what to do, and streamlined our logistics. My guy is amazing; I really don’t know what I would do without him. (I might still be at Newark airport studying maps of transit systems.)
Maren and I had a great day today. As we were traipsing through the sea of umbrellas in Times Square she looked up at me with wide eyes and said, “This is so different.” The people, the buildings, the lights, the honking, the smells, and the pace. All of it is so outside our normal and she was a little awestruck. My big girl wasn’t scared, and bringing her loud striped umbrella was the best parenting move I made because she was easy to spot as we wove through crowded sidewalks. Seriously, I’ll never buy a black umbrella again–there were fifty black umbrellas for every colored one on the streets today.
We came back to our hotel late in the evening after a half day of travel and a half day of exploring our neighborhood for the week. She unpacked her doll’s things with care and colored a picture while I ordered dinner and set our wet stuff up to dry. We sat on her bed and I taught her how to make friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss and I think she’s hooked. We listened to an audiobook for a while before her bedtime: Rohl Dahl’s Matilda, read by Kate Winslet. I absolutely loved Rohl Dahl when I was in elementary school, and one of the Broadway shows we are seeing this week is Matilda.
I love the scene with our boots side by side. The rain didn’t dampen our day at all. I loved watching her hair get curlier and curlier. I loved taking “puddle cuts”–short cuts through the puddles that everyone else tried to avoid because they didn’t have rain boots on and we did. I loved listening to her lisp through her missing two front teeth all day long. I loved the details that Brad thought of that never crossed my radar; he loves me so completely–it is amazing. I loved uninterrupted Maren time; she’s a marvelous kid. I just loved her. All day long.