I’m back from my daughter’s birthday trip to NYC.
And I can easily say that it was everything I had hoped for.
From our arrival Sunday morning to my flight out Saturday, it was filled with lots of shopping, laughs, history lessons, food and loving moments.
We walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, rode the subway, walked around the neighborhoods I had once lived in and ate too many french fries.
We walked for hours, sweat through our t-shirts and made emergency drink pit stops at delis along the way.
I shared stories about my first post-college job at Bloomingdale’s. She talked about where she wants to go to high school.
I talked about the boyfriends who broke my heart. And the one or two whose hearts I broke. She talked about the boyfriends she wants to have.
I told her the story of meeting her father, my ex-husband, in graduate school at NYU. Showed her our 14th Street apartment. The one we moved in to after we got married. The one we lived in when her older brother was born.
It’s amazing what you can talk about when you’re just walking down a busy, crowded, hot street. Without making eye contact. Having seemingly casual conversations about topics that aren’t casual at all. How to live a good life. Making mistakes and then bouncing back from them. What’s important and what you’ll look back on and realize wasn’t as important as it seemed in the moment.
After a few days, I drove her up to the Poconos, to her grandparents’ house, my former in-laws, where her brother has been for the last week.The three of us hiked, skipped rocks and ate wild raspberries. I watched the two of them repeatedly go down a natural water slide and swim in freezing water until their lips were blue.
And on Friday morning, I said my goodbyes to them. Telling them to behave, be helpful to their grandmother and to enjoy their three weeks there.
I almost made it out of there without tears. My son kept hugging me and telling me he loved me. My daughter was telling me, for the umpteenth time, how great the NYC trip was and how much she appreciated it. Then she got teary which made my waterworks go. After more hugs and kisses, I drove away from them, in the rain, with a very wet face.
I know that they’ll have a great couple of weeks up there. Golf, tennis, swimming and eating all of the amazing food that their grandparents are famous for making. Spending time with cousins and aunts and uncles. And the last week, with their dad.
I drove back to Brooklyn with all sorts of thoughts in my head. But the prevailing one was this: I am so blessed. And lucky. My kids, my husband, my life. And also, that the time my daughter and I spent together was amazing. Relationship changing even. Giving us both a deeper understanding of each other. And I think that will go a long way as we get further in to the teen years.
One can only hope.