So we had a big weekend….three-and-a-half days in New York City with my family and four students. Benny’s not real big on NYC, but he and the girls came with us again this year since our annual APCA Leadership Conference fell once again on the girls’ birthday. While I was in sessions all day Friday and most of the day Saturday, Benny and the girls wandered around town…walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, playing in Central Park, you know, stuff a guy would want to do. We did make it to a Yankees game Friday night too, so that was quite an experience.
I snapped the photo above on a quick whim on Thursday evening out at Coney Island. I always take my students out there the first night we’re in the city because I think Coney Island is just something you have to see. It’s not just the rides…it’s the people! All the crazy Coney Island boardwalk characters! Sarah was about to take off on the high flying swings when the sight of her snazzy little feet just screamed out to me. They just looked so small and frail, yet here they were attached to this incredible little girl who was turning nine years old. Nine years old! How did this happen!?
I was able to do some girly stuff with the girls too. Did you know that American Girl Place in NYC (the home of American Girl dolls) is THREE STORIES! It looks deceptively small from the street, but good Lord, once you get inside you soon realize the store goes way back and up three floors. The girls were a bit overwhelmed (seriously, I was too!) but they finally managed to pick out something for their birthday presents that didn’t totally break the bank. That night, I took them to see Mary Poppins on Broadway while Benny watched the Olympics in the hotel. I think the girls and I definitely got the better show!
There’s something so magical about childhood, I think especially for me being blessed with two amazing little girls. Just watching the smiles on their faces as they rode the rides at Coney Island, seeing their “oh my gosh, can you believe all this stuff?” looks as they ran from section to section in American Girl Place, and then most especially, when Bert danced on the ceiling of the theater and Mary Poppins flew with her umbrella in the show. During intermission, I saw Sarah frantically twirling her necklace in circles and asked her what she was doing. She replied, “I’m playing jump rope with the fairies, Mama!"
When I was tucking the girls in Sunday night, I told them I couldn't believe they were nine years old and asked them both what their favorite thing was of the whole trip. Livvie’s was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge (I’ll share some of her pictures later!), and Sarah’s was most definitely seeing Mary Poppins…and specifically seeing Mary Poppins fly up into the air with her magic umbrella. “It really was magic, wasn’t it, Mama?” Then as I was walking out the door, Livvie said "Mama, even though I'm nine years old, I'll always be your little girl..." Talk about magical...that's the kind of magical moment that melts a Mama's heart.