Well, that’s the glass half full scenario. What’s really true is that I try not to think about how much I miss these particularly lovely things while the many months away unravel… including this heartstopping (to my New Yorker’s soul) view of Prince Street from today. But that’s not all I’m remembering.
Our gorgeous French dinner with Shelley and Erik, snowy frigid night without, warm food, outrageously generous Christmas presents and friendship within…
Brunch and board games with Jill’s family… watching Jane mastering “Camp” and Molly her colors and shapes. “There is only one brown octagon”…
Borrowing Egbert and Regina’s snowshoes and racing across the snow in blinding sunlight… coming across not one, or two, but three deer carcasses, victims of the local coyotes.
A late afternoon gossip with Judy, Rollie, Young Rollie and gorgeous Tricia… to think that the next time I see her, she will be holding a two-month old baby in her arms. It wasn’t possible to thank Judy enough for her friendship with John’s mom in those first hours of the crazy Christmas holiday, here just the two of them, preparing without me. That is friendship.
And and even later afternoon hot chai tea and kitty games with Anne, David and Kate, playing Jenga (“Jessamy don’t like Jenga, it’s too loud for her,” Kate observed many times), Anne and David as usual playing the best challenging advocates for Avery. “Go for it, lobby for that psychology class!” Anne encourages, and they both look on with admiration at the Tom Lehrer note. What heartwarming friends they are, and possibly my favorite memory of the holiday, the night they arrived in the dark and turned on their outside lamps to shine on the snow and receive our friendship. How lucky we are to have fallen into each other’s laps, across this magical road.
John’s last cuddle with Jessamy (too bad he really doesn’t like cats)…
Finally today, a drive into New York — that city of our happiest memories, our saddest memories, our strongest memories — to drop Jessamy off with Alice, her Primary Mother, and to drop me off for lunch in town with Alyssa, for Avery to spend a blissful afternoon shopping — Avery Goes Shopping Alone! — at Sephora, American Eagle, JCrew, in SoHo all on her own!
Alyssa and I ate splendidly at The Little Owl in the West Village. Their signature tiny meatballs on a cheesy bun, scallops and lobster with a rocket salad and a dressing of capers, lemon juice, baby leeks and melted BUTTER, and possibly the best French fries in the city. Mostly, it goes without saying, gossip, shouting with laughter, our usual menu of friendship. As we stood outside on the corner waiting for cabs, we agreed that we survive quite well seeing each other only twice a year, until… we see each other. Like children who are fine about babysitters until they get one. It’s as wonderful to be together — sharing memories of our daughters’ earliest years as babies in Tribeca — as it is sad to contemplate not being together. Let’s concentrate on the former.
And how gorgeous to amble into Dean and Deluca, choose three of the hunkiest pork chops in the world, relive all the years I spent grocery shopping there as if it were a grocery store! Lo, in the olden days of our newlywedhood. Carrying baby Avery in a Baby Bjorn, picking up the first of the world’s fingerling potatoes, baby radicchio, goat cheese fresh from France, delicacies New York had just discovered.
I crossed the blinkingly sunny New York street, revelling as usual in the unbelievable right of pedestrians ahead of cars! How funny to trade in two so different car cultures. On to Sephora, looking for my daughter, up to JCrew, and there she and her daddy were, fresh from a shopping spree, her first alone in New York. The first of many, I hope and fear.
Home to begin to organize our departure. The last loads of laundry, organizing dinner to use as many ingredients as possible! Clearing countertops of holiday paperwork, finishing the “Alice in Wonderland” puzzle. Avery and I decide to leave both puzzles in place, to discover at summertime, to help us remember our holiday.
And so it has wound down to the last few hours. We are anxiously watching the weather forecast, heavy snow forecast for just around the hour our plane is due to take off. I refuse to worry. All will be well, and with any luck, you’ll hear from me next, suffering from jetlag, presiding over Lost Property, in London. But what memories we will carry with us.Print This Post