Friday, November 25, 2011

Return to the Big Apple

Beautiful Bryant Park

(Me with my new boyfriend in Times Square)


The last time I was in Manhattan it was also in November. Three years ago . Three years isn't a long time. For me it feels almost like a lifetime, considering the changes and the crazy pace of life since then. I'm sure it's been the same for most of you - life just has this way of taking you places. From the major loss of my Dad, to the loss of my annoying organ Gabe (a.k.a. biggest freakish gallbladder in the world) this past July, and everything in between, it's been an absolute roller coaster. Things were a little bit easier for me in November 2008. But in a lot of ways I'm more fulfilled than I was back then.

As many of you know, I was mostly (give or take a few projects) a Stay at Home Mom when I visited NYC last. Likely not the happiest SAHM- hence the trip tagging along with my "business man" hubby to Manhattan. Shortly after my return from that trip in 2008, I had my first date with Gabe and it was such fun that we ended up in Emerg. Followed quickly by a blur of activity due to my Dad's illness and family time that wasn't always so pleasant.

It's in life's darkest moments that you see the brilliant possibilities, I suppose. You see, that bleak period also provided me the rarest opportunity for a true heart to heart talk with my Dad. He felt blessed that despite his failing (well, spiralling out of control) health, he had the time to tell me things he'd never voiced directly to me. It's not the typical Chinese way to be so direct. In those last alone times with Dad, he reinforced in me that I could do anything in this world that I wanted to do - and that he pushed because he knew I was up to the challenge, me, the eldest, probably the one he could push the hardest. He knew I could take it and that I would continue to take it, elevate it to the next level.

And then he was gone.

In the physical sense, at any rate. I think Dad has had a big hand in much of the positive changes in my life since then. The subtle encouragement even in my last conversations with him, led me to re-evaluate my life, and what I wanted to do with it. Was I satisfied being a SAHM? My life since then is evidence that I wanted, and actually needed, much more.

Despite my thinking that Dad didn't ever have a clue as to who I was, it turns out that he knew me all along.


"Mom, do you like work? You've been back for a while now." (My son showing some reflective capability for a change - yes!! He must have been away from the Xbox.)

"Well, I do. It keeps me busy while you guys are at school and the money helps. And I do feel that I'm accomplishing something - what I do makes a difference in people's lives, and it's nice to have a career and be a Mom at the same time."

"The people at your office are nice. It seems like you're enjoying your work. I guess the travel is hard though."

(Mother guilt set in about now...)

"I do find the travel tough, buddy. I miss you guys when I'm away and it's especially hard when it overlaps with Dad's."

"You miss us, but admit it Mom, there's a part of you that likes going away. I mean, when you're there you just have to wake up, shower, have your coffee and read the paper and then go to your meetings. You don't have to worry about getting us ready at all, rushing in the morning, packing lunches, getting us to bed at night... "

(You realize that he has a point don't you. Not only does this kid have my back, he knows this stuff. Scary psychic 11 year old. )

"You're a smart alec kiddo," I admitted, ruffling his hair.

"We miss YOU a lot when you travel Mom..."

(making my heart ache as he embraced me in a huge hug).

"By the way, next time you're in New York, can you get me a Yankees snap-back? "

How could I not?


Cid said...

Love the way kids put things in perspective. Right now a little time away from the family looks mighty good as the build up to Christmas has already begun.

Tooje said...

I sometimes find it scary and a reminder how much they truly understand at such a young age. Nice hat. :)

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

I am insanely jealous of your new boyfriend!

I had tears in my eyes through the second half of this post. Your dad? Your son? So much awesome! And I am so happy you have found your way to a new happiness!

Leanne said...

Love the hat! And good for you for getting away....

BusyMamma said...

it is amazing how intuitive kids are. Even my 5 year old knows things I never realized he understood.
Puts things in perspective doesn't it???

imbeingheldhostage said...

11 going on 30! How did such a young guy get so smart?
I'm glad you had that time with your dad, what a blessing that was. My dad went unexpectedly and I know my sister really struggles with feeling he must have been really disappointed with her (she was a little wild for a few years). It's good to know that your dad had such a belief in you.

I hope this year is your best, most fulfilled yet :)


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