Thursday, July 9, 2009
I was waiting for the crosstown bus today at 79th and 3rd when I looked up and thought "I wish my parents lived here."
Then I thought "I wish my parents lived anywhere."
But I had the loveliest daydream waiting at that bus stop. I knew it wasn't real, but I just kept on letting myself have it and it was wonderful. Like taking a moment of sunshine on the face or smelling fresh cut grass.
In my daydream my parents live in a highrise on the Upper East Side. Safely across the park from me! I go for dinner every Sunday. I love it. My dad grew up in Manhattan and was never cut out to own and maintain a home. He always wanted a doorman and a super. And so he finally has it. Mom and Dad have Charles and Gary and Fred. They are always nice to me when I come to visit. Fred's mother died recently and my parents went to the funeral.
I was as shocked as anyone when they packed it in in San Francisco and came east at their age! Wow. When I was younger I would have hated my parents following me, but now I love it. Usually parents move where the grandchildren are, but mine, they up and moved away!
Mom and Dad love living in the City and are often over on my side at Lincoln Center or seeing a play on Broadway. Dad still complains that the new shows have no hummable melodies and we argue over Sondheim. Well, I do, he ignores me and watches the game on the TV. He did love the "Drowsy Chaperone" and I got them tickets for "South Pacific" which they thought was fantastic.
They are both big walkers and walk around the Jackie O Reservoir in Central Park every morning. I sometimes meet them there. It is nice. We go for breakfast by the Guggenheim and I walk back.
Dad and Mom love the Met and are members now. I can't believe how they manage that grand staircase so well. Dad says he will race me anytime I like. I especially love Dad telling all the stories about the old days, when he grew up here. A month ago he and I did this whole walking tour of his life. Just the two of us. I had no idea how many places he had been. And the stories were great. What a privilege to share that with him right here in his home town.
I got Mom to join Hilary's mom's book club and now they are fast friends. It is incredible how many people they are meeting.
Their grandkids, my nieces and nephews, are coming East for part of the summer and Mom and Dad are taking all five of them for a whole month to their place upstate. I don't know how they will manage, but they love, love it. It is such a joy to see them with those kids and know what a special bond they have. I remember back how I felt about my grandma and I appreciate all that wonderment before I left the nursery myself. It is a special, special bond.
I do roll my eyes when dad does the coin trick with Johnny. He loves it! He has seen it a million times, but Johnny just says "Again, again." Oonagh and Claire are mom's wee helpers and they are taking shortbread baking lessons with her when they come out this summer. Mitch and Dad are going to a Yankee's game, just to jeer I imagine. Dad brags about this fellow. And I no longer am jealous. I just feel oddly proud. And Rita is their precious one. So incredible really.
Dad is turning 77 this year and Mom will be 74. I can't believe it. Yet they seem so young. And frankly those ages are not so old anymore. I feel so lucky to have them in my life and so close by. What a blessing.
Here comes the bus.