A 16thbirthday in New York City
My baby was turning 16 and it was time to do something big. We would only have three days, so we had to make the most of each moment. I began by making lists of things to see and do in New York City. The next step was to map everything and see how the groupings created our days and informed our path through the city.
When I plan and make my list I like to add everything that looks interesting to me. Then I analyze and prioritize the big must-see destinations with an ! and the things that look fun but I would not go out of the way for with a ?. Here is a spreadsheet of my list:
I made the spreadsheet from a longer list that I made on blank paper as I surfed the web while I watched some British murder mystery show. I prefer unlined paper and messy rows of notes written with a fine ball-point pen. My brain works like this and I just have to get it out before I can make any sense of what I am thinking or any kind of coherent plan.
I looked on Pinterest and read every must-see list I could find. I found a forum on Trip Advisor that told me exactly what train to take from JFK to our hotel. It included where to change trains and how to navigate the system. I felt a little less nervous, not at all confident. It had been years since I had been to NYC and this time I felt the pressure of showing my daughter that we can navigate a big city. It is nice to have a good man to help you, but as a woman sometimes you will have to take care of taking care of yourself and do something that scares you to death and makes your dream come true all at the same time. I wanted this trip to be an expanding adventure into womanhood and I was going to have to show my daughter how to not be afraid, while I was truly terrified.
It was going to be a surprise revealed the day before we left, but I accidentally left my plans open in a tab on my computer and then while I was out I asked her to check something on my computer and get back to me and she saw my open tab. She was never going to tell me that she knew, but I knew that she knew when I got home and opened my laptop. She was going to play along and act surprised. But I looked her in the eye and said, “I know that you know.” She melted into relief and hugged me and said, “I am so sorry your surprise is ruined.” To which I said, “no, I am sorry your surprise is ruined.” Then we went happily along planning our adventure together.