We woke up the following morning. At 10 am. I haven’t woken up at 10 am in God only knows how long. Somehow another hour passed before we actually decided to do anything, and for some unknown reason I agreed to go for a run in Prospect Park. 3 miles? Sure, why not. I made it for a mile and a half before I started walking, and considering when I’d gone to bed, I think that qualifies as heroic.
After that we went out to “brunch.” By now it was 1:30 in the afternoon. I had done exactly one thing by 1:30. It was a bit surreal. I guess this is how single people spend their mornings. I mentioned this to my sister, who narrowed her eyes and said something along the lines of, “Yes. This is why I’m exhausted by 11 am whenever I come to visit you.”
The rest of the afternoon was a pleasant stroll through the Village, some shopping, and then a mad dash through another short lived rainstorm to go to a movie.
Afterwards we met up with my cousin Meghana and her boyfriend Sumeet, at another chic speakeasy with exceptionally delicious drinks–bay leaf martini, ginger lime mules, and some fancy version of a dark and stormy.
Walked out on to the street for some late night pizza (that claimed, like every pizza place in New York, that theirs was the Best Pizza in New York City) and then back home to Brooklyn.
You will note I haven’t mentioned the boy at anytime since he left with his grandparents. This is because I didn’t speak to him at all during this time. Partly because my phone was out of juice and couldn’t be charged (for uninteresting reasons), though I was clearly reachable through my sister’s phone. My son, who has never spent the night away from his parents in another home, was entirely uninterested in speaking to either myself or his father. I had a twinge of sadness but was also happy that the little guy was so comfortable there and is independent enough to not need us all the time. This is how it starts, I suppose. One day they can’t even poop on their own and then the next thing you know you get a call from Botswana telling you that they’re moving there permanently.
The boy was having a blast with his cousins, staying up late, fishing, having water balloon fights and far too busy to be bothered with us.
The next day he came back, somewhat reluctantly, for a cab ride to the airport and a thankfully uneventful flight home. On a side note, I have decided that a plane is the perfect place to watch Jennifer Lopez movies. They’re light, fluffy, mildly entertaining, and it doesn’t matter much if a bit of the movie is cut out by announcements. You know what’s NOT a good choice to watch on a plane? “Air Force One.” Even scanning through it to get to “Monster in Law” gave me palpitations.
Some of the little things I want to remember from this trip–how the boy brought a few handfuls of oak seeds and tucked them into his pocket. Whenever he found a little patch of dirt in Manhattan he would surreptitiously pull one out and throw it in. Riding the subway back after a long day and singing “Let It Be” together to pass the time. Those delicious drinks at Pegu Club.
Oh! I almost forgot to mention the knock knock jokes. The boy kept trying to tell us these jokes that were awful. By the end of the trip, the exchanges went something like this. “Hey Mom,” he would start. “Can I tell you a knock knock joke?” “Honey,” I’d reply, “No. You can’t tell knock knock jokes.” Now this may sound harsh to you out there reading this, but you’ll see–I’m right. He’d pester and pester, insisting that this time he’d get it right and I’d eventually give in.
“Ok. Knock knock,” he’d begin.
“Who’s there?” I’d ask, warily.
“Why was the pancake sad?”
“Why was the pancake sad who?”
“Because of the waffle!!” He’d say triumphantly.
“Honey, that’s not a knock knock joke. That doesn’t even make any sense!”
“Really? Can I tell you another one?”
Over and over and over again.
And last but not least, these incredibly creepy ads that they have all around New York on the sides of bus stops. Far away, the boy has his eyes closed, and when you get closer his eyes open and he has an orange in his mouth, to advertise that a certain prepackaged high-sodium artificial food product sold to feed children now contains fruit. Wahoo. At one point, though, the boy would only have one eye open and it was incredibly weird. You’d see everyone walk by recoil slightly, and this is what I must now share with you.