Tuesday, April 21, 2009
My wife's birthday came and we decided that she'll have a weekend of her own, away from her 4 boys (myself included). She hasn't had a full weekend off from being a wife / mom / homemaker / homeschooler since we came to the US last Nov 2006. I have some frequent flyer miles expiring this year that were leftover from my "European tour of duty". She chose to accept an aunt's invitation to visit New Jersey, and get a full day to check out the Big Apple. When we told our 3 boys the plan, they wondered how I, a kitchen misfit could take care of them on my own. (No rolling of eyes please). "Are we going to have tuna omelette 3 times a day?", they asked. I'm sure they would have wanted that - heck, I make the best tuna omelette this side of the world. My wife as always, had the perfect solution. She'll cook meals in advance for me to thaw and cover the 6 lunches and dinners where she would be absent. The breakfasts were up to me. Our youngest started crying 2 nights before her mom left for her short vacation. He couldn't remember a single night that he slept when his mother was not around. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum features a collage of American immigrant faces. At the other side of the collage is the American flag. A mural depicting the future scene at Ground Zero. Only in New York - a discount shop for millionaires. A human statue takes a rest to have a chat. The Empire State Building. A view of the New York skyline from the viewing deck of the Empire State Building. Amongst other things, Times Square is probably the most recognizable New Year party place. Our liberty boys posing with souvenirs from Mom's New York visit.
I worked from home one Friday last February and brought my wife to O'hare for her 11am trip to Newark. She got delayed twice, and ended up in New Jersey at around 5pm. She had her reunion with an aunt (her dad's sister) whom she hasn't seen for more than a decade. The whole Saturday was spent touring New York. She got to see the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, and Times Square. She passed by Ground Zero and the United Nations building. Her stay was too short to include a visit to Central Park, the art museums, or a Broadway play. But, she was able to accompany her aunt on some personal visits as well. It was a whirlwind visit, short and sweet, but a refreshing one for her.
An hour before we were to pick their mother, our 10 year old was leading his 2 younger brothers around our place dusting the furniture fervently and fixing their beds. "We want to surprise mom." I was impressed by how my son fixed the beds. He had his mother's knack for arranging things. While everything went well during their mom's absence, we all felt incomplete and were very eager to see her back. We picked her up at the Chicago O'hare airport on Sunday - late evening. She confided that while she welcomed the time away from home, the waiting times on her 2 flights provided an opportunity for her to reflect on our family, God's faithfulness, and how blessed we were to have each other. And yes, she admitted to missing us, despite being away for less than 72 hours.
Our friends' reactions to my wife's getaway were amusing. A mother from church said that she'd ask for a time away from her family as well. Another friend in Ohio remarked, "Why didn't she tell me? I could have gone with her." She's the mother of 2 children younger than 4. We look forward to visiting New York together as a family. It's one of the world's most exciting cities, and has a lot of interesting places to explore. That will have to wait though - my wife said the boys will enjoy the visit more if they're older.
Later that week, as we sat down to watch a DVD, my wife excitedly pointed out a scene from the movie shot in Times Square. "Been there!", she said. I smiled at and for her.
The Ellis Island Immigration Museum features a collage of American immigrant faces. At the other side of the collage is the American flag.
A mural depicting the future scene at Ground Zero.
Only in New York - a discount shop for millionaires.
A human statue takes a rest to have a chat.
The Empire State Building.
A view of the New York skyline from the viewing deck of the Empire State Building.
Amongst other things, Times Square is probably the most recognizable New Year party place.
Our liberty boys posing with souvenirs from Mom's New York visit.