The highlights from my New York moments…
Almost as much as she loves playing Octomom and Matisse, Abigail loses track of time when she’s building with blocks.
The Hayden Planetarium might’ve hit the list had the shows not been sold out upon arrival. Oops. Their paternal grandparents were taking the sprouts to the Dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Natural History later in the week, and there I was, stormy weather, stranded in the Museum of Natural History. Now what? Answer: view nearly every inch of the museum aside from anything even “touching” the Dino exhibit. Exhaust us all, then feed us, Pinkberry style. Chase the food coma with a nap at Aunt Amanda’s apartment (my step-sister), where Luke + Abby met their nine-month-old cousin Hannah. Nap nap nap nap nap. Uncle James arrives. I read, cry, and savor the letter James wrote to his father in The Legacy Letters: Messages of Love and Hope from 9/11 Family Members. Auntie Erica arrives (my other step-sister) in time to bathe Hannah and bring me up to speed on amore.
Lovable Dulce swoops in with macaroon packages, individually-wrapped raspberry cushions. Eyes widen, coy smiles, that very quiet, very controlled, sweet sweet beg. Then Dulce and I hold onto the sprouts for dear life as we cab it to Serafina to meet Smelly, her daughter, and facially fantastic Amy (the girl makes the best faces). The whole NYC cab situation with young kids, no booster, no car seats, terrorizes me. This is a horrendous comparison, but top-of-mind? Pull and pray. Emerging safely from a New York City cab with small children is like being one partner away from an STD.
Crayons and paper tablecloths mark the moments of our night, and although we mostly now have children, it’s as if no time has passed at all. It’s as though I never moved to Austin, never owned a house, never ever married or left. We’re transported back to our earliest shared moments.
When I think of “the past,” I think I always rewind too far.
Coralia Leets Necklace
Seeing the sun-kissed faces of first cousins (and first cousins once removed) made me thankful for family, wishing we were all closer, the way I was able to grow up in their backyard, how our childhoods were spent over lasagnas and under awnings, all our heights marked on a wall, bubble wands and afternoons of Old Yeller. On the whole, spending the afternoon at North Hills Country Club was.. a soul frenzy. North Hills is a version of home—the water-logged Speedo version—that despite the Long Island accents, springboards me to a time of comfort, with Mom in tennis whites, Dad elbowed up for a game of gin, Lea criss-cross-applesauce, a paunch, a ring of blue icy lips, wheeling and dealing, calling dibs on the next round of Nok Hockey. Years where lawn chairs were homes, pine needles fed imaginary babies, shade felt like a cool cola, and summer was something we both lived and dreamed.
As a total aside, it was wonderful having Alexandra and her honeydew sweet boy spend the afternoon with us. She is, after all, family. Also, I fell in love with Alexandra’s necklace. Leave it to her to coordinate jewelry with her bikini. Seriously. But who could think in bikini with Walls Wharf on deck?
More to come later. For now, I must sleep. Then, off to preschool orientation because these things are complicated. And for what it’s worth that was said without even the faintest dab of sarcasm.
Other favorite moments: running into former coworkers at the Ace Hotel, seeing my favorite coworker and sharing our favorite stories at The John Dory Oyster Bar for west coast oysters (Fanny Bay oysters are by far my fav), semi-frizzante wine (good luck finding that at a wine shop), then the topper: old school everything. Captain Jack and Brandy’s. Just love.