When W woke up at the diner he was READY to go to the toy store. This toy store was huge. It had a ferris wheel, it had multiple floors, it had neon signs and loud music. It was overwhelming. Even writing about it gives me a headache.
Mom braved the ferris wheel with W. He was excited for about 30 seconds and then he wanted off. When he realized that wasn’t going to happen swiftly he got annoyed. From his dangling magic school bus he could look out the window and see Elmo on the streets of New York and a line of cheering children hugging him. He yelled down to me, “ELMO!!”
Mom looked down at me from the roof of the toy store and raised her eyebrows as if to ask, “do you want to take him to go see Elmo?” I wiggled my eyebrows back to convey, “didn’t you read the stuff about the trial about these street characters?”
As luck would have it, by the time W and Mom were set free from the never-ending ferris wheel Elmo had left the sidewalk for his day job.
W was told that he could pick one toy, a small toy, to commemorate this day in the city. He made a bee-line to the same toys he always heads to: construction vehicles. I pleaded with him to look at something else. We finally found a collection of small firetrucks that he declared to be “very New York”.
Declaring things New York was something he started doing at the toy store. He would get really excited about seeing a glob of people and he would look back at me and say, “this is New York!” I would correct him. “This is a TOY STORE in New York.” He wasn’t having it. He was in love.
He wanted to spend some time simply watching the ferris wheel from the ground. While we were watching some families load in and load out he leaned back against me and sighed, “I think we have to move to New York.” The women standing next to us turned to me and smiled.
Ha ha, lady. Of course I loved that W is thinking how great it would be to live in New York, but really, at this point, he just thinks New York is a giant toy store. I suppose to some it is. But that is another post for another day.
Mother found us at the exit of the store and we headed back out into the busy streets of New York. W was in LOVE with the traffic sounds. With the hustle and bustle. With the people. So many people. For a while he kept looking down because he liked to see all of the feet on the sidewalk. I nudged at him to look up at the buildings. “Oh! New York is up there too!”
Such a silly boy.
I walked Mother and W back to the hotel and then continued on to find a Bodega for supper snacks. While walking on the street I felt like a tourist. I was treated like a tourist by the street vendors too. Two decades ago I landed in New York and claimed it overnight. Just as instantly the city claimed me. It was a perfect love affair and we ended on great terms.
Seeing the city through the eyes of my son is one of the best gifts I have ever known. I am falling in love with it all over again. In my mind I am making lists of all of the places we must go see, all of the secret mysteries, all of the magic. And Brooklyn! I can’t wait to take him to really explore Brooklyn beyond Briar’s living room.
W easily feel asleep for the night listening to the sounds of Time Square and traffic. He was up and ready to begin his day at 4am the next morning.
To be continued…