We were in the City on Saturday and driving home at night up the West Side Highway, my neck twisted up toward the window looking out, I had that sinking feeling again.
That, oh, I miss this place…
I saw the lights, and the domed top of the monument in Riverside Park marking our old corner, West 89th Street, and those sneaking what ifs crept in.
What if we never left the City…
Would I be happier as a City mom? Walking everywhere? Central Park my backyard? Would I be strolling us up to cafes and dining al fresco? Would you be real “City kids,” entertaining the masses at suburban family parties by saying “I live uptown,” how cute!
I don’t know how you push this thing?! your Aunt Shelly had said earlier about her experience pushing you guys in your stroller around the Upper West Side. And that was the compact one. It barely fit in any of the stores! We couldn’t go in anywhere, I had to take them to Duane Reade! And even there we were like a car!
And then there’s the other reality of help, of not having Nana and Mimi and the rest of the family around, and not even for help, but just not having them around in general. Imagine, Nana being an hour and half away from you guys?? That doesn’t seem fair.
As we drove and the buildings got smaller, we went over the bridge and I turned my head back from the window and down into my phone where I flipped through pictures of you. Because as if I don’t see you enough, that’s what I find myself doing when you’re sleeping. (Mom’s are special types of obsessive stalkers.)
And before I knew it we were in the land of trees. And houses. Salt boxes and capes and brick colonials with chandeliers dimly glowing through the windows that made it look so warm inside.
And I turned my head back out again and made notes of things on the houses that I liked, look at those french doors, maybe we can do a porch like that? going from daydreaming about raising two children in a thimble to doing an expansion on our already amply-spacious house.
Look at that wood door, I love it!
…At church yesterday for Easter I was hoping to hear something inspiring. Something about rebirth or renewal or whatever it is we need to tell ourselves every few months, after our New Year’s resolutions fail us there’s always Spring cleaning, another chance! But I didn’t hear much with you, Baby Girl, saying “MAMA!” in my ear every few seconds, pointing to the purple scribble on your Disney princess coloring book, so proud. “Wow! That’s great, baby,” I’d whisper.
Promptly after communion you made a bee-line for the door. I mean you were really running in your white tights and frilly dress, a spritely Forrest Gump.
“No, Baby, no, we have to stay!” I pleaded in the vestibule trying to quiet you as you cried, “ALL DONE! ALL DONE!” For added effect you made the motion of wiping your hands clean. “Church, all done!” You pointed to the door and said Nana’s, as in, woman it’s time to blow this joint, to grandmother’s house we go, there’s an egg hunt and some Peeps with my name on it!
I must say, I admire you at age 2 for knowing what you want in life, for being so centered that the world can spin on around you, yet you remain the same.