Sam had a test last week. A standard issue Kindergarten prep test, a necessary evil, on par with a trip to the dentist. There’s only so much you can do to get a 4-year old ready for something like this. All you can do is hope is that your kid is in a good mood, well rested, and has eaten breakfast.
I did what I could to check the boxes. Starting the night before with a trip to 16 Handles. Sam clowned around, pretending to be a lobster and seeking attention. Emma was an easy target and was more than willing to pet him in between each bite. “Good lobster…”
Fortunately, he did sleep well that night and ate a big breakfast in the morning.
“Sam”, I said, “what would you like as a treat when you’ve finished with The Puzzler?” The Puzzler of course being the Scary Test Lady, but those words are never uttered. We opened the door to the school.
“A donut”, he said.
When you’re a kid, the most highly coveted prize in the world is a donut. It’s an 89 cent wonder. But it was well-deserved, the frozen yogurt, the donut, all of it. The little guy had tried his heart out.
Lucky for Sam, I had one more surprise in store…..
“I have something special planned” I said as we wandered back home. “We’re going for a scoot around the city.”
Once home, I pulled out the pair of black and neon mittens I’d hidden in my room. “These will keep your hands warm.”
“They strap onto my scooter?!” Oh yes they do little man…
So off we went on our scooter adventure, heading down 7th Avenue.119 comments
We’ve been looking forward to this all year: our annual visit to Macy’s to see Santa Claus. I’ve been bringing my kids to Macy’s since Lauren was 11 months old, making it 6 years running. And although there are plenty of options to see Santa in New York, you can’t beat this production. It’s over the top, from the life-sized toy trains, to the Nutcracker dancing bears. So each year, we brave the crowds and head up to 34th Street to experience a little Christmas miracle of our own.
Sam was pensive before our visit.
ME: What’s up?
SAM: Are we going to Santa’s office?
SAM: Is Santa mad at me?
ME: Why are you asking that?
SAM: Because you were mad at me yesterday.
ME: Why did I get mad at you?
SAM: Because I was sitting on Emma.
ME: Santa probably wouldn’t like that. But I don’t think he’s going to be mad at you. What are you going to ask Santa for?
ME: What else?
SAM: Um, uh, Flashlight Friends?
ME: Is there anything else? I think you had a list, right? Here it is. You listed Transformers, Optimus Prime, Autobot, a Helmet, Thundercracker, Flashlight Friend, and a penguin.
SAM: And chocolate.
ME: Perfect, what do you think he’s going to say?
SAM: Um, I’m mad at you?
After promising that Santa wouldn’t be mad at him, we had a quick lunch at home. Midway through lunch Sam panicked that he’d forgotten to add Pete The Cat to his list. So he found higher ground and yelled to Santa that he also wanted “Pete the Cat Saves Christmas.”
I reminded him that we were heading up to Santa’s office shortly and that he could pass on the message in person.
So we bundled up and hit the road.
It’s hard to believe that a year ago today, Hurricane Sandy swept through the Northeast corridor, flooding New York City and leaving many of us powerless for days. It was a surreal experience to hear in late October that yet another Hurricane was gathering strength and heading towards our city. Just the year before, we were hit by Irene, which caused minimal damage, but had thrown me into a panic. The night Irene landed, labor pains started, and I was forced to dial around town for a hospital that was still admitting patients. My hospital had closed earlier that day and hell or high water, no pun intended, this baby was coming.
Hectic birth stories aside, many of us New Yorkers anticipated Sandy with a healthy dose of cynicism because Irene had quickly turned from a roaring lion into a virtual kitty cat. “This is it?” I remember Anderson Cooper asking as he walked around downtown New York during the heart of the storm, the worst of the storm surge lapping gently over the barrier.
And so, like many NYC families, as we heard about Sandy’s approach, we did little to stock our apartment with adequate food and water supplies, flashlights, and size D batteries. The boy had cried wolf, and we wouldn’t be fooled again.
Lesson learned. Storms are unpredictable, and when they hit, they hit hard. I will never again be unprepared for an event like this. That is, if it ever happens.
Early before Sandy’s arrival, we tried to enjoy our last few moments outside, knowing that we’d likely be stuck indoors for a day, maybe two.
Once we were officially quarantined for the evening, we did what we do best: cracked open a bottle of wine and hung out with the kids as they played in the hallways.
And of course we watched CNN.
I have a love/hate relationship with CNN. It’s the only channel worth watching in the face of impending doom. Who doesn’t love to watch the reporters as they brave Mother Nature, yardsticks in hand, ready to measure accumulated pools of rain, wave height, and beach recession. Feet firmly planted, winds lashing their faces, soaked from head to toe, they warn us to “STAY INSIDE”. It’s courageous and unnecessary all at the same time. Do we really need to watch our reporters get blown away by gale force winds? I think the answer is yes, because CNN specializes in news as entertainment, and on nights like this, the entertainment is thrilling.
We even had a little bit of fun surfing the winds that came through our window.19 comments