Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Big City Holiday

I do enjoy Christmas, but I am glad for the day after, when things can settle down freshly. While shopping and preparing for the holidays, my oldest went on a big adventure to New York City. He has two very generous and loving aunts (hubby's sisters) who live in Brooklyn, and they invited him to come visit for a couple of days. He and one of his aunts took the train to Boston from the bottom of our street, then the subway, then the Amtrak to NYC, travelling door-to-door without a car. This was his first journey away from home, and he was not nervous or frightened or worried... he seemed so ready. I realized after he walked out the door, that this was a benchmark moment for us as a family...for me as a mom. One of many more to come, but one that I really noticed. I felt a clear tug of letting go as he headed out the door with his bag and a smile, looking forward to his adventure. I was glad for him, and I knew he would be with people who loved him.

He loved the train ride, watching a movie, visiting the snack car,and watching a snowy New England whiz by the window.The snow fell on the way in to Penn Station, and they started with a snowball fight in the evening in Central Park.

They went to the Met and saw an exhibit on arms and armor. His aunt said he was fascinated and talked much about what he knew, and what he noticed. They ate at a Middle-Eastern restaurant, they watched High Noon and Rear Window. They went to Rockefeller Center and saw the big tree. He was not impressed when they cleared the famous ice rink there, so that a man could propose marriage; rather he was disappointed that they were not bringing out the Zamboni instead.
They took him to Times Square where he said he felt really small, and amazed by all the lights. He went to Greenwich Village to go to a gaming store he had looked up before he left. They went out for pancakes and pizza and bagels. They watched Elf. When we spoke on the phone I mentioned that I missed him. He said, "Well, I would miss you too, but I'm having too much fun!"
Some of the best pictures are from the NYC Transit Museum where you could pretend to drive a bus and run over your aunt...They took some very funny videos of each other trying to sell tokens and give directions from the pretend ticket booth. A snowstorm made travel difficult, so he stayed an extra day and they took him on the Staten Island Ferry, which turned out to be his favorite part. He was in awe of the Statue of Liberty, having seen so many pictures of it, and his aunt said he stared out the window quietly at it for a long time.

My first boy arrived home a couple of days before Christmas with lots of stories and funny moments and a gigantic hug for us all. In most of the photos he looks genuinely happy, reveling in the fun of exploring a new place away from home. I am glad that he felt secure enough to leave us, remembering the littler boy who never wanted to leave my side, even at the playground.

To sweeten the deal, my awesome mother-in-law very graciously took the other two boys overnight, leaving my husband and I with any empty house and a snowstorm outside...
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1 comment:

debra said...

What a great adventure for all of you.
My #1 daughter came home from NYC on #2's 17th birthday, 12/21. She's here in NE Ohio for about 3 weeks, then back to the city.
The great thing about the roots we share with our kids is that when they are ready for wings, we know.
Happy New Year to you all.