Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Things I learned on my trip to New York

1. Planes rarely leave when they are scheduled
I don't actually know if this is true for everyone, or just for me. I don't fly much, but when I do you can bet that I will not be arriving on time. Allison and I crawled into bed at my Aunt's house about 2:30 AM. We didn't mind so much though. We had dinner, read books, talked about our plans for the trip. It's amazing how waiting can actually be enjoyable when the romper-room crowd is at home in bed. Plus, we got to take pictures like this.
Lovely, I know. Heh Heh

2. Allison doesn't like crowds.
I am surprised I didn't know this. I know I have said things like "Allie likes her one-on-one time" before, but this trip it became very clear that she doesn't like socializing in crowds. Each time we were together with a large group of people (which, since we were visiting with family and attending a wedding, happened a lot) she would wander off by herself. She wasn't sad or looking for attention. She was perfectly happy off by herself reading, or looking around, or finding one person to visit with. That's very different from me. I love crowds. It makes me wonder what other things I never noticed.

3. If you want to know who really loves you, look for people with dirty hands.
My cousin Bethie's wedding weekend was the product of lots of work by many people. I continued to be amazed at the number of friends and family-members who were up early and up late to decorate, clean-up, run errands, cook, chauffeur and do countless other small things to make sure her day was special. She's an amazing person to inspire so much sacrificial love from others. But that part, I already knew.

4.Strong's Children's Museum in Rochester, NY is, like, totally awesome!
Really, it's worth the trip to the upstate NY area just to spend the day there. It's full of wonderful hands-on exhibits that encourage your kids to play more, create more, read more. And it's huge. I could go on and on about this place. Fabulous.

5.Dancing is good for your soul. We should dance more.
When we are young, we dance all the time. As a kid we do it whenever the mood strikes us. It's inherent in us this desire to move to the music. As a young person we dance at parties, at school, in clubs, and then eventually, at our friend's weddings. But something happens as an adult and we don't dance anymore. And when we do, we tend to feel a bit foolish, like this is something reserved for the young. And thin and coordinated. I wish this wasn't so. I love dancing. I'm not particularly good at it. I have a decent sense of rhythm but no coordination. But I danced at Bethie's wedding. And Allison danced with me, until we were both exhilarated and out of breath. And no, there are no pictures of me dancing. (Although there were some taken I believe) because this would not encourage you to dance more. It would encourage you to laugh more, and that really wasn't the point.

6. My daughter is beautiful.
I spend a lot of time observing Ben and Clara. Noting the small changes. Documenting the feel, the smell, the look of their chubby cheeks, the sounds of their voices. Trying to capture it all through the lens of a camera. It's been a long time since I looked at Allison that closely. But several times this weekend I was just blown away by the beauty of her. Amazed in fact, at what a gorgeous thing she has become. Her beautiful pale skin. The faraway look in her eyes. I know some of this is viewed through the rose-tinted glasses of motherhood, but that's okay. I hope I always see her that way.

7. The Spice Girls should have a reunion more often.
My cousins (biological and adopted) and I refer to ourselves as the spice girls. I can't really remember how this started. I was told that it had something to do with platform shoes and the fact that one of us is named Ginger. Our spice girl names change with our situation (I have been joyful spice, singing spice, sappy spice and for 2 stints at the end of my pregnancies..."Puff Mama") Our group has also grown larger over the years, expanding to include other relatives and friends in it's circle. It's a beautiful thing, my relationship with these other spice-girl-women It has been a shining light for me in many dark days. When the doctor told us we had probably lost Clara they prayed like crazy. When I fell into a very dark hole of depression after she was born then hauled me out of it and sent me weeping to the doctor. They have supported me when I have felt like a complete failure of a mother because I couldn't get Ben to eat anything that wasn't pureed. My only regret is that this relationship has been sustained almost completely by email. Sometimes daily, sometimes with weeks in between. We live, all of us, in different states. The spice-girl wedding of the century brought us back together again in person, but the time was too short and after much too long an absence. It needs to happen again, annually. And I am going to make it happen.

8. My Babies Can Survive Without Me.
I missed my other children horribly while I was gone. I was actually moved to tears a couple times by the pangs I felt at being away from them. However, the visions I had of Ben and Clara pining away in my absence were completely wrong. The Man said Ben only asked for me once and they were both great. Sigh. I guess it's wrong to feel bad they weren't suffering. But well, a bit of pining wouldn't really be too much to ask, would it?

9. There's No Place Like Home.
I knew this already, but there is nothing quite like 5 days away from your family, to help you remember. I absolutely could not wait to get home.
I am glad to be back.


AmandaD said...

I bet The Man kept a few cries for mom to himself.

"The farway look in her eyes..." so true. Beautiful, your words and your daughter.

bubandpie said...

It's so true about the dancing. Pie was doing a little dance tonight in her high-chair - shoveling in the spaghetti all the while, but doing an appreciative little hip-jiggle when we popped in Johnny Cash's Greatest Hits. She caught as laughing at her, too, but only grinned and danced some more.

Christine said...


I live right in the Rochester area and we even have a membership to Strong Museum. You were HERE. Right here. Right near me. . .

Joy, of course said...

Christine-YES! I had no idea you lived there. I wasn't paying attention I guess. (I tried to email you by the way to respond to your question but couldn't find an addy on your blog) I was born in the Buffalo area. My aunt I always stay with lives in Chili so I fly into Rochester. I go every year or two. Maybe next time we can meet for lunch.

slouching mom said...

It sounds like you two had a great, great time. I'm so happy for you. Happy that you got to see these close, close friends and family, happy that you got to reconnect with Allison.

Good stuff, great photos.

painted maypole said...

Welcome home. What wonderful lessons you learned. And that daughter of yours? Gorgeous.

thirtysomething said...

Your daughter is beautiful! And I know what you mean about waiting, when the younger ones aren't in tow--who knew that it could be enjoyable when you take away the whining, chasing, and question-asking?
As for the time you were able to spend with your daughter, I know you will treasure it always. It is so true that when we have more than one child, it seems as though, even though we love them all dearly, some things seem to slip by unnoticed, until we capture a small slice of time to focus our attention on just one.
Glad you had such a great, meaningful time. And thanks for the comment on my blog--the support from is so encouraging.

Michael & Catherine said...

What a fun trip with Allison! She is gorgeous! I'm glad that y'all had such a great time. Your group of Spice girls sure do sound like a ton of fun!!

Catherine said...

Hello there! I clicked over from somewhere because I loved the name of your blog...I think it sends the same message I try to send with mine. Lovely! Nice to "meet" you. :)

Spice Girl said...

Spice Girls Reunite!!!!