Autumn in New York

7:30am: Two grown adults waiting for the effects of the first sips of coffee to hit to perk them up, discuss the day's events,which include a much-anticipated pick-up of the eldest son, Rick, from a debate he was participating in at Rutgers University, outside of New York City.

7:34am: "Why don't we just load up all the children, instead of me leaving you here with them, and make a day of it?" says the man with only half his cup of coffee flowing through his system. The wife wonders if he added anything especially strong to it after such an outlandish suggestion.

7:36am: After contemplating (for two long minutes) a long weekend day that will reflect any of the other five week days that her husband's away for the better part of the day, and after imagining her offspring frolicking through Central Park, she gulps down a big sip of coffee and says "Let's get out of here. Fast. Before we actually think about what we are doing".

9:00am: Exactly two showers, five children hastily dressed, pb&j fixings, a knife with which to "fix" them and Goldfish thrown in my trusty thirty-one bag, a conglomerate of colored pencils, coloring books and fruit snacks to liter the van floor, one pack of wipes and six pull-ups later, we pulled out of the the driveway. We were thankful for the nearly three hours in the van to catch our breath from part one of the marathon, before embarking on part two on the other side of the Holland Tunnel.

I will warn you, there are many pictures. I am sharing them because they were too pretty to be kept to myself and also because this blog is the children's collective baby book, and I want this memory made of hard work and love to be a part of it. Since I cannot see you, and even if I could, feel free to "close the book" at any point to go scrub the dirt out between your toes. I totally understand. 

Photographs of our Family Field Trip at Central Park 
{and captions representing real thoughts in my head at the moment they were captured}.

It's not every day you drive down a street with this gal at the end of it.
There it is. The small town we are taking our five rambunctious children into.Where is my Mocha Prozac Vodka Latte when I need it???

I have never, ever liked tunnels. I still don't. Please Lord, don't let me see any drips on the ceiling.

We are doing this. I cannot believe. We are doing this. What are their little brains thinking?

What a pleasant surprise that was to see Sally Field standing on that last corner!         Wait 'til I tell my mother I saw her famous twin! Another nice surprise? The leaves still brilliant and attached to their branches, especially given they survived Sandy.
Central Park Zoo. The children are already peering in to see if Alex and Marty are here.

We are really here! Let me pray the twins reconcile themselves to the restraints of their stroller instead of fighting it. It must be hard to have just turned three when you really consider yourself age five.

Oh, my beautiful, long-time friend! How good it is to see you, and how GOOD you look (oh, alright and so do those creamy Cannoli's you brought us from the bakery down the street that's been making them for 55 years!). How is it you dealt with such high-impact from Sandy and yet look so beautiful and together? Amazing. You are.
     Who needs Santa Clause when you can have the Cannoli Queen??

The children never have to  know there were plenty of leftovers.

Poor thing, must be embarrassed about something. Maybe it's her chin hair. I feel your pain sista.

Rock sliding in Central Park. I am so glad we didn't think too hard and just did this.So glad.

Time has been her friend. Prettier than ever. This is "her" rock, and as it turns out, she is stronger than it is.

Handing out cannoli's and upon the initial meeting was a sure way to remain the most popular person in the park.

Oh, dear God...You have made it so beautiful, even here, in the center of man-made monuments that reach to the skies.  How I thank You for this day!

The children are crying tired cries and whiny whines. We are all spent. The light is red. The Waldorf is to my left, beckoning the sophisticated woman buried deep, deep within. I have time to bolt out of the van, blow them a kiss and check myself in. They know I would come back eventually, right?

My body is not crafted to easily extract fruit snack packs from the back seat floor with my feet still on the center console. As I am laying perpendicular to the van ceiling, reaching for the gummy fruit 'basket', I look up. "Children! Look out the windows now!! This is an intersection that many people from all over the world come to see. What? Oh yes. Here's your fruit snack."

Nothing like a dinner at Subway right in the heart of downtown Newark. This is good. Maybe it is the loud R&B rocking the joint, but our let's-keep-this-train-on-it's-tracks rhythm is starting to fall apart. This is not good. I once thought of Newark as a dangerous city...but now i find my self fleeing it because of TWASTFO!!!

Ahhhh....good timing. And hear their little cheers?! "Rick! Rick! Rick!" I am so glad he's part of us, and coming home tonight. I am not his mama, but he's one of us.
"I just want to give you lots of hugs when we get home, Rick".  This day, full of counting heads and keeping alert, watching them see things for the first time and see one they have missed so much...this is a GIFT, and one that I intend to reopen again and again. Giving thanks. It is a way of life, it is the acknowledgment of the gift an ordinary moment holds, the embrace of simple goodness.


For His Glory said…
I would not have believed it without the pictures!!! It looked lovely - as did you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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