New York, New York: We are heading in to NYC to see “Anything Goes” today. Our daughter and I. We are frequent attendees of the Times Square area, going back to her first Broadway show, which I think was, “Once Upon A Mattress” with Sarah Jessica Parker, (or maybe “The King and I” with Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips). I took our daughter and son to the show. Our daughter’s favorite line was “You swam the moat?” It was hilarious for all three of us. And memorable. Decades earlier, I had seen the original with Carol Burnett, believe it or not.
A Grandmother’s Legacy: Following in my mother’s footsteps (a grandmother my daughter never met), I was committed to making sure that both our children developed cosmopolitan muscle, despite growing up in a rural suburban area that had neither a commercial district nor sidewalks, though replete in white tail deer and moss-covered rocks. So I dragged them into the city, where we had relatives, entertainment, faces of color, lights, noise and stuff, lots of stuff.
La Parisian: New York City prepared us for Paris. To celebrate our daughter’s graduation from the secondary program at Riverview in 2009, I took her to Paris, seulement les femmes. I wanted to be sure that in her lifetime, or at least my lifetime, our daughter would see Europe close up. For a more authentic and affordable experience, I rented a pied a tier in the Bastille district, an excellent area for both access to the Metro and walkable to neighborhoods of interest. We walked all over, even from the famous cemetery Pere Lachaise back to our apartment, a pied, a long walk indeed. We took the bateau bus, visited museums, ate in cafes, even met up with friends and family stopping in Paris at the same time. And through it all, I held tightly to her hand, up and down Metro stairs, along the narrow sidewalks while scooters zoomed past us and smart cars nearly rode up on the curbs. We had the most wonderful time. But I never lost the fear that she would get lost. She wore one of those medic alert necklaces engraved with our information, throughout the trip. Ironically, when we returned home I noticed I had the wrong international telephone code printed on the charm but I think the Parisians would have figured that one out anyway. Fortunately I never lost her. (Though I was so nervous about the trip that I lost my passport at Kennedy airport. Luckily someone picked it up in time for us to board the plane. Then I left our two red suitcases at the bus stop at Le Gare (the bus driver just packed them up on the bus and continued his loop back to the airport) while attempting to transfer from the airport bus to a local city bus; one ditzy American broad, that’s for sure.)
City Lights: Our daughter went on many field trips to Boston (or as she labels it “stinky Boston”) during her five-year stay at Riverview, but she never liked Boston. Too cold! She is a New York kind of gal. The lights of Broadway beckon. Here we come.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011