after an hour of standing in the slowly winding snake line with all the other travelers trying to catch planes, i made it to the now hurry up, pull, push, and shove your belongings thru in your bare feet part. caged dogs were ferociously barking but i remembered later that i had also heard a HOLD UP WE NEED A SECURITY CHECK HERE. the guard and i discussed the dog din as she spent extra time patting down my dreads. i told her i had seen the huge dog making all that noise and i was pretty sure it was actually a bear. we both shuddered. she released me and i turned to find that my baggage had been delayed. a gaggle of grown men were gathered around the wee bitters gift my daughter had given me trying to determine if it should be allowed on the plane. they shrugged and tossed it back in the tray. i gathered my things, jumped back into my shoes, and ran for my flight which i made only in the nick of time. no time for a pee-pee.
many people claim to love to travel. i stink at traveling but i do love being in other cities. i like sitting in other places. on park benches and in coffee shops, with family. i only had the weekend in new york, but daughter made sure we covered the important things while i was there. i stayed in a tiny strip of rooms: bedroom, coffeepot room, and bathroom all overlooking a sweet garden. daughter lived a dozen blocks away and brought over goat milk for my coffee. a full moon peeped in the window when i got up in the morning, church bells chimed close by, and geese were talkative as they flew overhead. a little girl in pink chatted me up in the garden and shared a snail shell she had found while sorting stones. we agreed that parking it next to my door looked really good. when i returned that night only a little snail trail remained.
saturday was just a wind up for my daughter’s last performance that evening. we went to the farmers’ market for apples, accidentally saw the best exhibit ever on the history of children’s books at the library, and had time for late afternoon coffees and goodies at grounded, a delightful coffee shop near new school. lot’s of people walking their dogs in that neighborhood. and the owners match their dogs perfectly. someone needs to document this phenomenon. next trip i will have a camera, i promise. daughter’s play was amazing. daughter was amazing. the play was layered like the jazz piece it referenced. it was both disturbing and deliciously funny. i got to sit with important people and people important to my daughter. every other minute i had to remind myself to pull my shoulders back down from my ears where they had climbed to. then i got to go out and get sloppy with the young people. they are all stars already; all those illuminated possibilities in their possession sparking out in pointed rays of bright light.
sunday we ran in the park. i love running with my daughter. we had to dodge pink-clad breast champions as they paraded thru the park underneath bright orange fall foliage trees. daughter both fed me lunch (gorgeous salad with turkey and her garlic roasted brussels sprouts) and took me to her neighborhood coffee shop for treats before we caught a train to harlem for dinner with her boo (and friends). such a privilege to be able to hang out with beautiful young people. even if my presence provides one of those “one of these things is not like the other” moments. monday i had to leave for home but not before we ran again in the park. this time we only had to dodge horses. daughter packed me a sandwich for later and i accidentally called her mom. she got me all the way to the air train and then let me travel the last bit alone so i could feel like a grownup. then there was the scary bear thing at the airport . . . i chatted all the way home with my lovely young-lady seatmate and it wasn’t even exhausting to do so. i regret not offering to friend her. my big brother picked me up at the airport because some people, no matter how much we age, will always need a grownup to collect us.