Friday, January 23, 2015

Two Yellow Cabs

I rode away in a yellow cab with a driver I couldn’t understand and windshield wipers pounding furiously at the driving rain. I worried that my flight wouldn’t be able to take off. I wondered what my people at home were doing. And I waved goodbye to my oldest child as she rode away in her own yellow cab that would take her in the opposite direction.

It didn’t seem right. A child is supposed to travel home from a trip with her parent, right? The parent’s job is to protect her and to see her safely home. Or so I thought.

But this weekend was a little different—our first weekend away since my oldest graduated, moved out, and got a new job that takes her to various places every week. Lately her home-away-from-home has been New York and, you know, it’s been waiting for me, and so has she, so I went.

For weeks we’d been planning our trip—which streets to shop, things to see, places to eat. Even though Kate works there most days, she doesn’t get to play tourist, so we were excited about exploring the big city together.

Those of you who have been around here for a while might remember that Kate and I and two of her friends explored New York together over Spring Break one year (we even met Meredith Viera!), but I hadn’t been there in four years, so it was fun to plan a new adventure.

I’m always up for a new adventure, right?!

Just like four years ago, we covered a lot of ground—Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Times Square, Ellis Island, East Village, and, my personal favorite, the Met. I even got to see where my grown-up daughter works—directly across the street from this building.

It was, at times, surreal to be walking with this grown up person, independent, who knew where the best restaurants were and how to hail a cab. And yet there were times that felt perfectly natural, back in our hotel, laughing and talking like the old days.

My mother's-heart practically burst all weekend--it was so good to be with her again.

Sunday morning brought a fitting sort of rain. The kind of rain that makes it impossible to walk down the street or take in the sights. The kind of rain that comes from thick clouds stretching for miles. The kind of rain that soaks not just your skin, but your heart.

We made the best of our Sunday: brunch on Houston Street, a few final hours hanging out at the hotel. We still had some time before my flight, so we decided to store our bags and take a cab to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or, as New Yorker’s call it: The Met).

We only had a couple of hours there, but it was so worth it. Something about walking through a beautiful building taking in beautiful things made the ugly day outside just a little bit better. I wanted to walk slowly, to savor every painting and every moment, to slow down time so that I wouldn’t have to walk back outside to the rain and to goodbyes.

Our time ended much too soon, and Kate and I decided that we would have to make another trip to the Met someday. (We didn’t even see half of it, I’m sure.) Soon, we were back at our hotel, collecting bags, hailing cabs, and hugging each other tightly.

As I drove away, tears mingling with raindrops on my already-wet coat, I realized that the ground had shifted yet again in my parenting journey as two yellow cabs drove through the rainy streets of Manhattan in opposite directions.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. Letting go as a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done. I know all about tears. And worry. And prayers. Lots and lots of prayers. But I also know that God loves our kids even more than we can. And He wants to be their source and their strength. And sometimes they have to get on their own to get to that point. Praying for you and your beautiful daughters!!

  2. No need to look at surrealist paintings, is there? Plenty of those experiences in real life, and it sounds as if your weekend in NYC was a series of them.

    How on earth can these babies of ours be grown up, independent persons, making their way in situations that just a few years ago would have caused them to cling tightly to our hands? And how do we now avoid clinging too tightly to theirs? I'd say you're doing a great job of that. . . you're a wonderful mom. Bless you!