Week-Long Trip…a New York Minute
Stephanie’s 2011 summer vacation from school was three months long but a respite from those lazy, hazy days of summer was a week-long stay in New York with her mom. Stephanie’s exciting trip began at the Twin Cities International Airport when she saw
her mom for the first time in three years. Each day thereafter was filled with something new and exciting for the entire week! The picture-taking didn’t begin until they boarded the plane and got in their seats, but then, it was ceaseless according to Stephanie. (Stephanie complained to me later that her mom even took her picture while she slept.)
Paz, (Stephanie’s mom) was trying to make up for her previous three years. I understood Paz wanting to indulge her daughter in every way because that was only natural (“Make up for lost time,” as they say). Paz lives in the Bronx and is near the ocean.
Swimming is Steph’s favorite pastime and the little water bug couldn’t wait to sample swimming in the ocean! Naturally, one of the first things done was a walk to see it. Paz would remark to me later, “She is like a mermaid; she loves the water!”
They settled in and became familiar to each other again (I think), they got a restful night’s sleep so to be prepared for the following day of seeing NYC.
about a man in “umbrella pants.” The guy was /dressed that way for one of the many plays in the area. Recalled with much less fondness was not being able to walk without being bumped into. I could envision little Stephanie being bounced here and there like a pinball that gets knocked into the target pins, although, there was no target nor were there winners.
She recalled with clear detail that, “New York was really crowded Dad. People would just bump into you and not say anything and when they knocked into you, you’d bounce off him/her into somebody else and just go like that down the street; I don’t want to live there! But me and mom had a great time visiting the Empire State Building; it’s so high up! We looked out the window and could see all over the place, all the way to the statue of Liberty! And that’s where we’re going tomorrow,” Stephanie said with excitement!
Stephanie phoned me nightly to let me know how things were going and they were going well. It had been three nights.
Then, the fourth evening arrived… I received a call from Stephanie’s mom first and she was telling me how Stephanie just kept sobbing constantly and needed to talk to me. It was during a bus trip to Niagara Falls.
Stephanie was homesick, I told her mom. Paz said that she would have her call me in a few minutes; “So be sure to pick up the phone. She won’t stop crying,” her mom said.
I heard her gasp for air and sob and gasp and sob, and then a gulp and a final sob. I told a joke about me and her sobs turned to laughter and then I asked, “Did you forget Animal Jam?” I had told her before she left for the megalopolis that we could stay in touch that way because it was an Internet game that we could play together no matter the distance. We used to play it occasionally when she was upstairs at our townhouse and I was down. The only difference I explained is that, “Now you are in New York and I’m at home in Minnesota, but we can play just the same, I love you and don’t forget their Instant Messaging.” She would be able to keep in touch that way, “Call me each night and I’ll say prayers with you.” I yearned for her as well because we had never been separated from each other since her birth.
Stephanie spent two weeks at two different hospitals, Doctor’s Hospital shortly after her birth for four days until Steph was strong enough to suck from a bottle so as to gain strength, then she was released. A few days after that it was decided that she needed a total blood transfusion because she once again became weak and her skin turned a pale yellow. This time we got her into a supposedly more advanced hospital, ICMC, in the same city of Balanga, Bataan, of the Philippines. Steph was in a private room for ten days at that town’s newest hospital. Even during her total blood transfusion I stayed with her constantly and continuously. Her yellow jaundice was next and we, Paz, Stephanie and myself made many trips to the nearby clinic and a few visits to St. Luke’s Hospital in Manila, across the bay.
Stephanie then called, and I mentioned to her how, “Long bus rides always make me sad too, but you are on your way to – NIAGARA FALLS!
“Do you remember one of your favorite cartoons, The Little Einstien’s and their trip to the falls? You will have so much fun Steph. You’re probably just tired now because you two have been busy seeing many sites. Try to get a little sleep because when you’re tired things bother you.”
I kept the conversation light and positive. The truth was that I missed her just as badly – if not a whole lot more than she missed me. The Aries Lady a girl friend of mine gave me a nickname of, MO/DA, (Mom and Dad) because of my constant worrying.
Paz called me back to say, “Thank you.”
“Mom even took a picture of me when I was sleeping,” Steph told me when she returned home.
Stephanie’s mother is to be commended for showing Stephanie all that she did and for allowing Steph to experience things such as the subway (took her in early morning hours) and the ocean.
I think she was ready for the more lax lifestyle of home. Her mom even told me on the last day, “I think we did too much,” and I agreed.
“Yeah that was too much to try and fit into one week,” I replied, “but you guys did it and had a great time, right?”