Hello New York. I’m sick.

I’ve been in New York City for the last week with W and my youngest child, who recently graduated high school. I’ve traveled quite a lot with my daughter on mother-daughter vacations, but seldom with my son. The Missy (my daughter) was actually supposed to have come with us, but it didn’t work out. Although I missed her, it was really nice getting to spend time with the Boychild. He has been a challenge at times as a teenager, but he’s really a nice young man, and we quite enjoyed each other’s company, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to show him the city I love.

The trip started inauspiciously, though. Friday morning I came down with some flu bug my departing coworker brought in to work, and W’s flight out of France was delayed, meaning he missed the flight to NY with us. He rescheduled to get in Sunday, leaving the Boy and I to fend for ourselves in the big bad city for two days, which wouldn’t have been too bad if I wasn’t deathly ill. In a stroke of luck, though, the Boy’s stepmother was in the city with her own son Saturday, so rather than drag my sick, sorry ass around Manhattan, I was able to crawl into bed and try to sleep off the flu while the Boy toured Nolita, saw a Broadway show and enjoyed  bit of the city with them. By the time he got back I was feeling only marginally better, tho alive enough to at least go out and get medicine, tissues and ginger ale. We did find Insomnia Cookies, though, which offers cookie delivery until 3am. It was a poor substitute for the trip to Times Square that I had planned, but he is easy to please and felt pretty bad for me, so I think having cookies delivered made up for it a little.

Sunday night W finally showed up, taking a taxi from the airport to meet us at a cafe I had dragged myself to in spite of still feeling like death warmed over. The Boy had to eat after all, and I thought maybe I could fool my body into thinking itself well.

I was pretty wrong about that.

The next three days I slogged along trying not to hold them back too much but barely keeping my head above water. What I really wanted to do was to hide out in bed the whole time, but we were there, dammit, and I didn’t want to lose a minute of our week there. As it was, I lost a lot of minutes, but mostly only those that I would have had with W, haunting various drinking establishments after the Boy had crashed for the night. I couldn’t even manage a glass of wine up on the rooftop garden – a damn shame, as I had been looking forward to spending hours up there with W, regaling each other with stories of my first week of work and his week in France with his family.  As it was, I was mostly too exhausted to do much more than
fall asleep on his chest listening to him talk. I did manage to muster up enough energy to spend an hour or so there with W on our a second-to-last night, looking up at the stars and admiring the city lights, but even that was curtailed somewhat by my still-not-recovered health.

In spite of all that, we managed to show the Boy a good time, I think, and showed him a lot of the city, as well as some of the more iconic attractions: the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, the Natural History Museum, Union Square, The Highline, Greenwich Village, a Broadway show, the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, food truck food(!), The Strand bookstore and, of course, the subway. We walked and walked and walked from the Upper West Side, where our apartment was (an amazing place on the 13th floor of a luxury building just blocks from Riverside and Central Parks) down through the West Village to downtown and all over the rest of the city, in search of hats for the Boy and for the Best Pizza in New York City for all of us. Two hats were acquired by the Boy and one by me. (W would not join in our reindeer hat-hunting games, no matter how I cajoled.) We also consumed much pizza and I bought a pile of books. Through it all I managed not to wimp out, though it took a whole lot of drugs to keep me upright.

I’ll try to post some pics of our adventures here in the next few days.

Now we’re headed back home. Because of the missed flight, W is once again not traveling with us, but gets in to STL very soon after we do. We’ll meet up at the airport, drop the Boy off at his dad’s house, and then have tonight together before normal life resumes tomorrow. On Monday I start my new job in a real way – no more training. I’m actually kind of nervous. It feels so real, and grown-up, and unalterable. I know that once I find a normal routine again it’ll be okay, but right now…well…I feel trapped, somehow. Trapped and anxious and claustrophobic. :-(

But that’s a topic for a different day, I suppose.

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