Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Jersey

On Maya's birthday, June 2, Sam, Maya and I flew across the country for a week-long visit with Uncle Nathan and Aunt Keri. Aaron got to join us for an extended weekend as well. Although the weather wasn't what we had hoped for (it rained several days during our trip), we enjoyed spending time with Nathan & Keri. On Sunday afternoon, the six of us ventured into New York City for an afternoon of sunshine in Central Park and a tasty dinner at a fantastic Mexican restaurant. Manhattan is beautiful this time of year--flowers are blooming, the park was elbow to elbow with people enjoying the sunshine, and we must have logged at least four miles walking around the city. I'm amazed that there are literally thousands of children growing up in Manhattan -- to me, the city is alive with people and activity, but it's also cramped and busy. You have to look closely to see the schools, playgrounds, dance studios, gymnasiums, and parks tucked into the corner spaces of the city. And yet, as we sat in the middle of Central Park (on the south end of the Great Lawn, for those who would know or care), the grass was awash with children tossing frisbees, throwing balls, and running in circles. Pregnant women littered our view, strollers were another accessory, and the youngest generation certainly had a presence. It was intriguing to me (and nice) that although we were in Central Park, we could have been anywhere in the country. Maya managed to ride THREE carousels during our time on the East Coast . . . one of her favorite things to do, in fact. In this post you'll see pictures of her on two of them. And here's a funny anticdote: When we landed in Seattle yesterday after a 5 1/2 hour flight, the flight attendant was making the typical announcement about landing, the gate number, and other details passengers would need to know. All of a sudden Maya turned to me and said (with the brightest eyes I've ever seen), "Mom, they have a CAROUSEL in the airport in Seattle." A carousel, I thought? She must be dreaming. Then it dawned on me what the flight attendant had just said: "Your luggage can be picked up at Carousel 7 in about 15 minutes." Ah sweet Maya . . . to be so excited about the prospect of a ride on a carousel. So in my very parental, articulate way, I explained that the word "carousel" had a few different meanings--and this time, the flight attendant was talking about the circular moving belt that brought out our luggage. Disappointed, Maya said (as only Maya can), "well, it's just good that I got to ride THREE carousels in New Jersey. I don't think they have any REAL carousels in Seattle but that's okay."

Maya's glass is definitely half full.

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