During Spring Break 2011 we took the girls to New York City for a couple days. The boys were still in school and had break the previous week and could not join us. This trip was the highlight of 2011 for the girls as they had never been to the Big Apple.
As we drove into the city facing Jersey City the girls screamed with excitement upon seeing Miss Lady Liberty. We drove to an exit, found a park for distant views of the Statue of Liberty and parked the car. We walked past several lovely monuments until we approached a walkway that provided an ideal view of the mother of New York – Lady Liberty. The girls were thrilled. They were beyond thrilled. They jumped, they screamed, they could not contain themselves. These are the moments of pure maternal happiness when you see your child so happy, particularly since the happiness stems from that of great historical significance.
Earlier in the week we stayed on Long Island. During this stay I took the girls to a nail salon for their very first manicures and pedicures. They were in heaven. We hit the malls, had a lovely dinner and swam at the pool.
On this day, our big meeting with Lady Liberty we announced to the girls we would finally be staying in the city – you know – the big apple. I asked, “Aren’t you excited to sleep in the city tonight?” My youngest daughter, who has a raspy New York accent said, “no, no I am not excited.” I was perplexed. Not excited to be in the big city? She replied, “No mom, I’m not excited to sleep. You told me this is the city that never sleeps.”
The girls experienced so many New York City first on that trip. They enjoyed Mary Poppins the Broadway musical. They visited agencies I do business with. We took a rickshaw through Central Park. An afternoon was spent in the History Museum scouting out artifacts from the movie, “Night at the Museum.” It was with great pleasure we found the Easter Island statue that exclaims, “Dum Dum Want Gum Gum?” However, Hollywood has a way of crashing visions of our youth so the girls were a bit distraught when the Easter Island Status uttered not a word.
In Central Park, my youngest with the raspy voice kept wandering away. I scolded her and told her she need to stay close to us during the entire trip. “Why Momma she asked?” I explained, “sometimes there are bad people in the world that want to do bad things to children. I love you and want to have you with me forever and always.” She laughed at me. And, she laughed again. It was a proud, overly confident laugh. Then, she said, “Yea, people would like to steal me. I’m pretty funny. I had better stay close so I don’t get stolen.”
While our trip was full of education and art, from the History Museum to the Broadway show only two things stood out like beacons to the girls on this trip. Walking through time square, gazing up at the lights, listening to the sounds, smelling the smells (and there were many, many smells), bustling people from street to street captivated them the most. However, in the cheesy trinket store I was required to purchase two twelve inch Lady Liberty statues.
Our trip was over, the car packed and we began to head out past the city. In the distance you could see Lady Liberty waving goodbye. In the back seat both girls held their statues high in the air waving them profusely at New York’s finest icon. “Goodbye New York. Goodbye Lady Liberty. Goodbye.