The next day we took the train back to Grand Central. We got into the big atrium, looked at the constellations on the ceiling. I expected the boy to be wowed by it all. He looked around at the place, looked up at me and said, “Mommy, this place is kinda small.” I guess you can’t impress them all. I also begged for just one reasonable picture, but was denied.
Then to FAO Schwarz, which looked a lot smaller to ME than I remembered it. The boy had no trouble tracking down a Lego Star Wars book and a little kitty for the girl.
Then we met up with my in-laws and after a fun lunch with the cousins and grandparents, they all whisked him away to their house for the weekend.
I stood on the corner of 5th avenue and 50th street and watched his green dinosaur raincoat disappear into the crowd. He didn’t even turn around. And I started to miss him.
I think when we think about having children, we all have something that we can’t wait to share with them. For Eric this has been taking the boy to baseball games and listening to music. For some maybe it is cooking with them or riding bikes. For me, I always dreamed of the day I could travel with my kids, take them to new places and introduce them to the rest of the world. My parents made it a priority to have my sister and I travel to India as frequently as possible when we were children, and I am incredibly grateful for it now. It made me realize that the rest of the world does not live the way we do, and it made me a much more flexible person when it comes to travelling. While New York is still clearly the Western world (at least the part that we visited) it’s a decent first real travel trip.
Back on that Midtown corner, I realized that this was the first time in years that I’ve been alone in a different city. It felt great, so freeing. I stopped missing the boy.
I headed into the subway to find the Habu yarn shop. Habu is a Japanese yarn company with only 2 retail stores–one in Tokyo and the other in New York City, and I just had to check it out. They make some beautiful, unique yarns–silk wrapped stainless steel, bamboo wrapped copper, and fine merino. It’s on the eighth floor of a nondescript building. You have to know it’s there to find it, which adds to its allure. I walked into a small room filled with beautiful colors, laid out rather precisely.
There was no one in the front but in the back room I could hear what sounded like a sewing machine rattling away (I’d later learn this was a yarn winding machine) and women chattering in Japanese. I looked around for a bit and then announced myself. A woman popped her head in front, told me to look around and ring the bell when I was ready, and then popped back into the back room. Unbelievable. I could have taken anything I wanted, really.
I finally settled on yarn that looks like paper but is made of linen, a fine cotton and a pretty thick and thin silk. I tried not to buy anything in orange, but couldn’t resist.
Then I headed a few blocks over to meet a friend that I studied abroad with many many years ago and whom I hadn’t seen in well over ten years, a fact that we figured out by dating her tattoos. It was so, so fun to hang out, catch up, and find that she is the same heartfelt, caring and sweet person that I knew back then, just all grown up.
After that, my sister met up with us and after saying goodbye to my friend, we headed out for a night of bar hopping at chic speakeasy lounges, which Sapana tells me is the “new hot thing.”
Pouring into bed at 3 am, I slept happily, knowing that I had nothing to do in the morning except take care of myself.