A few Sundays ago, my wife Tracy asked me to go to our favorite specialty market and get my children's favorite chocolate cake for dessert for dinner that night. So around 1:00pm or so, while my youngest children Kate (3) and Max (21 months) were napping, my 5-year-old daughter Lily and I decided to go to the market. But rather than cabbing it or driving, Lily decided she wanted to take her scooter out for the trip – a 14-block, 2-avenue, one-way journey. So there and back, we were looking at 28 blocks and four avenues. This particular day was one of those lovely NYC spring Sundays that you wait all year for. Of course, I didn't have a scooter, but no matter, we were off (Lily on her scooter) and running (me jogging to keep pace). We did it, there and back, and had a great time.
That was an especially long one, but after a few more similar adventures, I took a cue from Lily and asked Tracy to pick up a scooter for me. If my children were going to scoot their way around town (Kate and Max both have them, too), I was going to scoot with them. Lily humored me by scooting around our building with me while I got the hang of it. Then we (probably more me than her) decided it would be a great idea (Tracy would debate this) for Lily and me to scooter home from her school one afternoon before the year let out for summer break. Now to put that in perspective, we live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and Lily's school is in Chelsea on the lower-ish West Side of the city, a distance of some 40 blocks and seven avenues. And yesterday was the big day.
The day started out gloomy with scattered showers, many of them heavy at times. But Lily and I were undeterred. The forecast called for clearing by lunch time and, in fact, by 1:00pm the sun was out and Mission Control (okay, maybe I'm getting a little carried away) gave the green light for the scooting mission to proceed. Tracy picked me up from work early, and we headed downtown. School lets out at 3:00pm; we had a quick snack and drink in the cafeteria and in short order, we were off on our adventure – Lily, me, our scooters and NYC as our course. And I must say Lily was a real trooper.
Along the way we stopped for candy, frozen yogurt, water and to top it off, a chocolate-covered strawberry from Godiva. We saw sights like Madison Square Park, the Empire State Building, the NYC Public Library, Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center, to name just a few. We stopped in more cheesy tourist souvenir shops then I care to admit to. And 1 hour and 40 minutes later (we didn't break any records), we arrived in Central Park to meet Tracy, Kate, Max and my oldest son Isaac. But the important thing was that I had a very happy 5-year-old girl at the end of our expedition, who had done something very special with her daddy.
These are really the moments that count in life. I could have worked all day yesterday. Some of you who called or emailed and didn't get a response until today can attest to that, but the work, the emails and the phone messages were all here waiting for me this morning when I got back into the office. The memories of yesterday's adventure for the 5-year-old and the 56-year-old will always be there. I hope you all take the time to create your own special memories, even if work suffers temporarily.