Ahhh New York City. The final and much anticipated stop of our US Tour. Oh how we've missed you, New York.
We arrived at Molly's gorgeous two-bedroom Upper East Side apartment and settled in for a week of good food, good friends, and good shopping. I had plans to meet up with Tracy for dinner because the stars and moon aligned and we were both actually in the city at the same time. (She and her family also moved from the city a few months ago - they're now residents of the stunning Portland, Oregon.) I, for one, was giddy with excitement to be in the city and loved starting off the week with dinner with one of my best friends.
The next day I woke early to walk around the neighborhood with Isabelle and grab a Taj bagel while we let daddy sleep. As I rolled the stroller out of the elevator and tried to bounce it down the remaining stairs to the street (there is almost always a stoop to navigate in or out of someplace), she slid right out from underneath her handle bar and landed on her feet like a gymnast. She looked at me with a stunned expression, like “what was that?” This was the beginning of slowly realizing what it would be like to live in the city with a toddler and another on the way. Every yin met a yang, every up met a down and dichotomy met every situation.
I plopped her back in and carried on with my bagel mission. We walked around the UES, which was great, but...you know...it wasn't our neighborhood, so I guess it was slightly anti-climatic for what I had built up as my first morning out in the city. Over the course of the week we did work our way all over the city though, including our beloved Greenwich Village, and were rapidly exchanging feelings of “this is great to be back” with “Isabelle don’t touch that cigarette butt!” It was a bit stressful to have an adventurous toddler among city traffic, stoops that are the primary toilet for neighborhood dogs, and loads and loads of people. I can only imagine that living in the city with a toddler would be similar to living in an amusement park minus the rides. Lots of whoknowswhat on the ground, speed all around, and constantly wishing you had one of those kid leashes.
I can hardly believe it myself as I write this. Who is this? I loved living in the city. I loved being pregnant in the city. I loved having an infant in the city. I guess it’s just a whole new ballgame when your kid can slide out of your hand and run towards the bright color of yellow cabs in the street. Or when an outing involves keeping your 14 month old in a stroller most of the time, unable to burn energy. Or when your options of transportation are either a cab without a car seat or a subway two avenues and four blocks out of your way. Who knows…people raise happy and healthy kids in the city all of the time - and love doing so with the ferocity that I've known. Maybe I’ve just gone soft?
Either way, we had a fabulous time visiting the city and seeing old friends. And don’t get me wrong - I miss my green juices from Melvin at Lifethyme Organics and my C.O Bigelow Apothecary…okay, and the Great Lawn in Central Park, and Ciao for Now coffee, and the shopping…. But the city was already changing for me beyond the fact our family is growing; Tracy has moved to Portland, Vanessa to Boston, and Molly to Vail, Colorado (moving this week in fact!). All of my bridesmaids are no longer in New York. It has made us realize that we probably won’t be back in New York for a while. It also made us realize that home is where the heart is…and for us right now, that is Doha. And when the time came, we were actually really happy to come home.
Who we're dancing to this week: A Storm is Gonna Come, Piers Faccini">