A Non-Hellish Trip to a Hell of a Town
Honey Badger and I went on a trip and it was pretty darned awesome. Things went right, things went wrong, and it was all manageable.
I realize “it was manageable” doesn’t sound like a rave, but every time I look back on the trip, I smile. I want to do it again. Honey Badger cooperated. He was a trouper. So although he lost his will to sightsee before we made it to the Transit Museum, the Central Park Zoo, or the Empire State Building (all of which he had wanted to do when we were planning the trip), and we didn’t go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Natural History Museum (supposed musts for trips to New York with kids), we still did a lot. Thanks to Swistle’s principle of comparing down and my own determination not to be a control
freak enthusiast on a trip that’s supposed to be all about the kid, I was able to realize that we were doing a lot more than we’d do at home, and I did not brood about the things were weren’t getting to. (Well, I didn’t brood much.)
Things we did:
- Got upgraded to a suite. Fancy!
- Went for delicious burgers
- Went to late-night but family-friendly improv place
- Saw glass-blowing and 19th century baseball
- Bolted off the subway when I told Honey Badger this was the stop for the burger place we’d been to the night before; had midafternoon burgers because we could
- Did most of a tour of the Tenement Museum (and then I noticed that HB was a lone gray face among the overheated red ones)
- Lolled about in our bathrobes with hotel monogram
- Went nuts making coffee with the room’s Keurig (HB) and happily accepting cup after cup (me)
- Watched more than a season of The Big Bang Theory — on the train going up, while lolling in the hotel room, on the train going home
- Saw Jim Parsons in Harvey
Seeing Jim Parsons in Harvey was the original purpose of the trip, and I’m glad we did it. But I’ve come to realize that while outings and events are a perfectly lovely part of parenting, what I really like is the hanging out part, just chatting with my kids while we play board games or run errands or go for ice cream. HB would have been happy to make me coffee at home (if we had a Keurig). We could have worked our way through boxed sets of BBT at home. At home, though, there’s always something that has to be accommodated — a brother’s plans, a home repair that I’ve put off too long, several cubic yards of laundry. In New York, for a weekend, it was just HB and I, him trying not to let me down, me trying not to be the sort of mother who could be let down by a kid who had preferences and needs, and, by the end of it, a fever of 101.
Riding back home next to my little andiron and listening to him laugh about what happens when your social skills aren’t as impressive as your IQ, I didn’t have to talk myself through my feelings about the trip, firstworldproblems, countyourblessings. I just felt lucky.