I feel like I need to create some balance as I’ve been kind of negative lately. In the interest of showing that I’m not cranky ALL the time, I’m going to share a little of our trip home last December.
Something I’ve dreamt of doing for years way Elanor being old enough for us to do a mother/daughter trip together. While it didn’t tick off every box (as it was reality and not fantasy), our long weekend in NYC was really special to me. Not only did I get some great time with Ellie (and with my BFF Kate, who joined us for a short portion of it), but I got to show her one of my favorite cities. NYC also happens to be a former home of mine, so while I didn’t drag her out to Queens to see my old apartment, I *did* take her to several of my favorite places from my time there.
With a great deal of cold weather and even some snow during our long weekend, Ellie had to accustom herself to wearing lots of things that she doesn’t usually bother with in Singapore. One way to make putting on socks more entertaining is to do it upside down—five year old logic
Obligatory Rockefeller Center Skating Rink and Tree picture. I have been skating there exactly once. I was contemplating taking E until I saw the line. A multi-hour wait? With a five year old? Who was already complaining it was too cold for her? Not worth it.
There was a huge crowd gathered by the tree, so we stopped to see what was going on. This lovely couple was getting married! One of the subjects that always gives me pause about raising my girls in Singapore is the lack of LGBT rights/visibility/acceptance. It was so special to me that she got to see this wedding, and that she saw all we passersby stop to share in their job and to celebrate their marriage.
Brother Jimmy’s on second avenue is a special place for me because it was where I met my friend Stephanie for the very first time back in 2002. Also–amazing bbq food. The kind of southern bbq food that you dream about wistfully when you’re not nearby (or maybe that’s just me). So I took my baby girl to have lunch with me and her Auntie Steph at Brother Jimmy’s. Steph and I talked and laughed and reminisced while stuffing ourselves silly. E was psyched to get a pink balloon and to try out skee ball for the first time.
Snow, as seen from our hotel room. Instead of going out and doing something that night, we got room service (WIN) colored (WIN) and watched the movie Elf on in room pay per view (TRIPLE WIN). I had fun, but E thought it was awesome.
One of the big reasons we went to NYC was so Elanor could attend her first real, live Broadway Shows. I’ve been taking her to theater since she was 2, and this was (and Phantom of the Opera) were the payoff for 3 years of nurturing a love of theater, building good audience skills and the stamina for longer shows. Sidenote–the actor playing the prince at the time we saw it also did the voice of Hans in Frozen.
I had to remind myself of the cardinal rule of traveling with kids—constantly adjust your expectations–multiple times.
I wanted her to love walking down fifth avenue because the stores there go all out with their Christmas Windows and I love them so much. Elanor kept telling me that she didn’t like New York because it was too cold and there was too much walking and could we just go back to the hotel and order room service?
On the other hand, we had some truly wonderful shared moments, like Cinderella’s on stage transformation from rags to ballgown. We could’ve spent forever in Books of Wonder. We talked for lots of the drive up and down.
I feel really lucky to be in a place where I could do a trip like this with her, and I hope that she’ll have fond memories of this trip every time there’s mention of NYC at Christmastime.