Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And we’re back!

Yes, after two weeks of Roman Holiday, we have returned to New York -- sun-tanned, stuffed full of gelato and totally, utterly wiped the hell out. What a time was had. We came. We saw. We conquered jet lag. Or, I should say, we conquered the going to Italy jet lag: I am now in the process of having my ass handed to me by the coming back jet lag, which has the kids waking at 3 am. But still, we did it and we live to tell the tale. And tell the tale I will, dear readers, have no fear. Gird your loins. But what I am thinking about right now is how freaking good it is to be back home.

Perhaps the very best part of going away -- using up all the miles you’ve accrued for the past seven years and cleaning out your bank account -- is the sweet realization that home is precisely where you want to be. I wish I could bottle the flood or gratitude and relief and sheer, total peace of mind I felt when I stepped foot into our tiny little apartment yesterday. I walked through the place, discovering how much I loved each of our possessions:

“The bunk beds! I LOVE these beds! Aren’t they comfortable?

Look at how GORGEOUS our windows are!

I forgot how convenient it is to have this sink so low to the ground!

Our ice cubes are always the perfect size!

OH MY GOD WE HAVE A DISHWASHER!!!!!Remember the dishwasher?”

When I went to the bagel place this morning and ordered an Everything bagel, I literally teared up. For joy. I’m not even exaggerating. I never realized how lovely the Brooklyn accent of the man who works at the bagel shop is, or how beautiful the color green is used to make American dollars or how convenient it is to understand every single word that everyone says to you immediately. When the bagel man said, "Have a nice day," I was arrested by the kindness of the sentiment and had to stop myself from saying: "Thanks so much for saying that. The very same to you, sir -- have a nice day and a SPECTACULAR tomorrow!!!!"

I wasn’t even annoyed that it was pouring rain all day today -- I was too busy appreciating how wide the sidewalks are and how thoughtful it was of the city to build little sloped ramps into the curbs so that pushing my stroller around is a little bit easier.

I was talking to Primo about this phenomenon of having newfound gratitude for your home and

I asked him, “Is there anything about New York that you took for granted before but are now really grateful for?”

He said, “Yes, I am so happy that here in New York you can get many different ice creams from all over the world, like Hawaiian shave ice, and kulfi and gelato and regular ice cream.”

“So true,” I replied, “I’d forgotten how great that is.”

Not that we didn’t love Italy. But Brooklyn rocks my friggin’ face off.