The truth is...

"How do you like living in New York?"

I never know how to answer that question.

The truth is - a big part of me really wants to be done with this whole nomadic phase of our lives. This part of me wants to throw down some roots. Get to know our neighbors for real. Start thinking of the future in terms of years instead of weeks and months and end-of-the-seasons. And when I think of these roots, I have a hard time picturing them growing here in New York City.

There's also a really big part of me that hates the idea of ever leaving. I would miss this. The crazy pace, the constant complications of just getting from A to B. The challenge of it. The amazing things to see - museums, parks, monuments, buildings - things that expand or just completely blow the mind. All just a subway ride away.

Part of me is weary of the people. The people who look at me that way when I pass them pushing my jerry-rigged stroller. The looks (and sometimes the actual voices) that say, what business do you have having three kids so young? You'd better be all through with that, girl. I get tired of people who curse loudly, oblivious of my wide-eyed children. I tire of people asking me for money. Or donations. Or "a moment" to listen to their cause. I am tired of people shoving their way ahead of me on the elevator. Or spitting in my path. Or shoving one of my kids out of their hurried way. Or stopping right in front of me on the sidewalk, devastating my hard-earned momentum (Nobody cares that the four of us are pushed along the streets of new york powered by nothing but my own two legs and determination. Nobody cares that I'm tired, or that Henry is hungry. I'm just a red-faced girl with a wailing child).

But oh, if I were ever to leave, how I would miss the people! How eager they are to play with my my kids on the subway. How complete strangers willingly help me lift my stroller up and down stairs. How Ali at Newspaper Chips always has a sucker or a giant Swedish fish for my kids when we visit. How the bankers all croon at my brood, offering suckers or small toys they have stashed behind their desks. I would miss the variety. All the colors, shapes and sizes of people. All the accents and languages and mannerisms. And how often when I venture out among the concrete towers, I hear voices in earnest saying to me, "Bless you. Oh, they're beautiful. You beautiful mamma. Bless you."

I miss having a fully functional kitchen - I haven't baked in months! But I would miss the hard earned simplicity of my life, now.

They have really crazy bugs and vermin here - but I've also never seen a bird like the one perched outside my window this morning. All speckled and vibrant green and glorious.

I've never walked through the park to church on Sunday because that's the actual for really real way to get there.

And, just now, a young asian man brought me a delicious overstuffed burrito for dinner. Delivered to my door for the low low price of $5.50 plus tip.

So what do I say when someone asks me, "How do you like living in New York?"

Do I say, 'I don't know?"

Do I say, "it depends on the day?"

Do I say, "I have a love/hate relationship with New York, but it's more love than hate." or "...it's more hate than love." depending on which is more true the moment I'm asked?

I guess the most honest truth is - "It's unlike anything I've ever experienced, before."

Terrible and amazing.

New York has changed me at the core. I'm a stronger person. A better mother. I'm more of a fighter than I've ever had to be, before.

During one of my rants about how annoyed I get with people when they don't understand elevator protocol, My Man grinned at me and said, "You're turning into a New Yorker." I looked at him with an insulted expression on my face, but he said, "No, I mean that as a compliment! You don't like anyone to get in your way."

I like the idea of being strong - but do I like the idea of being tough?

William's job has extended through the end of December. When the new year comes, and the decision to stay or go must once again be lived - will my answer have changed? Will I know, then?

How deeply will this City be in my blood by December?

10 comments:

Janey - UtValleyFoodie said...

I bet after a Christmas in New York City it will double the amount of NYC in your blood.

Tammy said...

Yes but have you experienced the winter cold in New York?

Stepper the Mighty said...

I've been to New York in the winter, before. It is bitter cold - but also completely magic!

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