It's been a while. I've spent the last few weeks going to bed and thinking about this blog as I drift off to sleep. In that state, it's easy to come up with hundreds of things I want to write about, things I want to share here. But then morning comes, life resumes, and before I know it, another day rushes by barely giving me a moment to check in. We spent the last week in NYC, and I spent the prior month already in vacation mode. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't get through most days counting the minutes until they were all gone. I needed a break, and not just a little one to a country town up the road. I needed something fresh and unfamiliar. The last time we were in NYC, I was 16 weeks pregnant and still trying to keep my small and terribly bland meals from being rejected by my intestine. That was exactly three years ago, and three years is a good amount of time to make something fresh and unfamiliar again.
As our plane was about to take off last Wednesday, I realized that I had forgotten to pack my fancy camera. I don't take it most places because it's heavy and can feel like a nuisance to lug around. This being Cheech's first trip to the city, however, I had definitely intended on bringing it along. Whether you're 2 1/2, 16 (like I was), or 85, your first trip to NYC is special and one would think, requires a fancy camera.
Just as I was kicking myself for overlooking it, I remembered a scene in 2 Days in Paris. In the film, Julie Delpy's character, Marion, is a photographer. On a romantic trip to Venice with her boyfriend, she leaves all of the picture-taking to him. She states: Taking pictures turns you into an observer. It will traumatically take you out of the moment. This really struck a chord with me. Since Cheech was born, I've found myself constantly trying to chronicle all these momentous events in her life so effortlessly. But often times, I've been so caught up in getting the perfect photo, that I've forgotten to just be there. I decided that in a way, it was a blessing that the camera had been left behind.
So I spent the week depending on my phone's lackluster camera. I only took it out when I saw something I TRULY wanted to remember, and when I knew I could take a picture that would one day tell her a story. Like when the man on the subway in a Burberry suit smiled the kindest smile at her. It warmed my heart that in a city where no one even bothers to look at you, people still remember to smile at little kids. And then there was the day we stopped by Shake Shack after an exhausting trip to the Museum of Natural History. We let her have ice cream for lunch because, hell, she was on vacation, too. And how I saw the Empire State Building as we were zooming by in a cab. Had I blinked, I would have missed it. And the fire trucks and their loud sirens that could be heard at any given time throughout the city. Cheech's face would light up every, single time one would go off, and she'd shout out in amazement, "Hear that sound?! Fire truck!". And how she's so lucky to have an uncle in Manhattan who has a bigger yard than a lot of the California yards we've seen.
Most of the pictures I took turned out to be either out of focus or off-center. Yet, what they lack in quality, they more than make up for in sentiment. NY, we ❤ you a whole lot, and you will be missed.