Sunday, July 18, 2010

::New York Cousins & Going Home::


I grabbed a New York tourism brochure at a stop along the way. It had all of these headings: I Heart Nature NY. I Heart Shopping NY. I Heart Music NY . . . But then there was one: I Heart Families NY. Bingo! We came to New York to see family. Not to hike, or shop or go to Broadway.

We pulled up to Rick & Susanna's row home, thanked heaven for available parking and settled into the beauty of hot sticky family bonding. The kids barely needed introductions, they tore off down the hallway into Micah's room and stayed there for the next few hours. Rick arrived home overburdened with groceries from Costco shortly thereafter and then I had the unexpected pleasure of reuniting with old friends from my days up at my cousin's cottage. Kate and Ellen arrived with lovely roses and lovely smiles. Always so warm and thoughtful.

It was such a great way to start our visit. Reminiscing about our girlhoods together in the kitchen, while snuggling our beautiful baby girls.

Rick and Susanna were the most gracious hosts. They gave up their bedroom for our gang and settled into the living room despite our protests. And Rick, bless his heart, seemed pleased to produce the most heavenly Lattes, one after the other after the other, it seemed. And the squish-able cuteness of the kids... Amelia was as tiny and fragile as a porcelain doll. For the first time ever, Caelah made me nervous when she held a baby. And Ellie reminded me of my Isaiah, twinkling with mischief. I caught her and Isaiah on the basement steps putting on my makeup. And Micah... oh, Micah. He has this husky little voice, along with a burgeoning certified NY accent; "J-Ah-O?" he'd say for my name. Or "Yee-ah" as an affirmative. And all this in a prolonged a sing-song way. I kept engaging him just to hear him speak.


We were probably way too ambitious, but we decided to walk to to Pier 6 with all of the kids the next morning. We hummed and hawed about trains, distance & heat but made the decision to give it a try. I have NEVER felt more intensely hot in all my life. By the time we made it to the kids area we were all cooked, only to discover no shade and a single water fountain. Susanna and I crowded under this spindly tree to revive our babies. Annorah looked like she was seconds away from passing out so I squirted water all over her and into her mouth. She brightened a bit. The kids, of course, were oblivious to our discomfort. There was a really cool water park and they were having a ball. We held out as long as we could for their sake.

We swung into a yummy bagel shop on the way back for lunch then returned home to vegetate in the air-conditioned living room until it was time to order pizza for dinner. I actually napped that afternoon--I never nap! We witnessed a very cute performance at one point, as Micah stood inside a wicker box singing the words to 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' while Caelah piped out mostly the right notes on a toy recorder.

That evening Sus and I got to head out on our own for awhile and wander their neighborhood. It is a great place they live in! Very similar to where I grew up. Gritty but full of character. We drank iced tea in Starbucks for a few hours sharing our thoughts and concerns about many things, parenthood, namely. I sat there rejoicing over the hearts of each of my cousins. Each one willing to speak deeply with me, and in whom, I could speak deeply. Family, beautiful family.


We carefully charted out our exit route before heading out of New York on Monday morning. How to avoid traffic. We said many, many goodbyes to our cousins. Once again, no one wanted to be parted. Aidan and I hope to make it back that way without the kids at some point. I would love to send Rick and Susanna out for a date night when we do come. They are a beautifully giving couple and it would be a pleasure to give back in some small way. Farewell New York cousins!

The final trip home was a race. Home was-a-callin'. And yet our children couldn't seem to stop peeing. We had to stop six times in under 2 hours. Drinks were confiscated after that. Then the jokes began:

Gabriel: "What do you get when a tree falls on top of you?"
"You get to lift it off."
"What do you get when you smack a cow?"
He never did come up with good answer to that.

Get. Us. Home!

We made it back safe and sound around 8:00 p.m.