I am cheating in writing this post because I am writing about Saturday in New York with the grandbabies rather than whatever is going on today - but I hope you will forgive me!
We drove up to New York on Friday afternoon, dropping Arthur, our new puppy, at the kennel in Baltimore where he had boarded for several months while he was in rescue status. I like driving to New York because it lets us leave DC and return when we want to, rather than being tied to the bus, train or plane schedules. Parking on the street is pretty easy in Alex's neighborhood - as long as I am mindful of when they clean the streets.
Friday evening I gave Ames, who is 13 months, a bottle and rocked him to bed. It seems like yesterday that I was rocking my own two to sleep rather than a grandchild! Ames is almost ready to walk - he stands by himself very steadily - and he takes a few steps holding on to the sofa or a table - but if he wants to go anywhere fast, he drops to his hands and knees and scoots away more quickly than he could walk right now! We figure he will be walking in a week or two! I don't remember Alex's first steps, but Lise Courtney took her first steps at a Super Bowl Party.
Saturday was a day for athletic endeavors. Alex and Hamilton and I took a bus down 5th Avenue to the entrance to Central Park closest to the ice skating rink. The rink is in a lovely location with a great view of the Plaza and the other hotels along Central Park South. Hamilton is just learning to skate so I watched him try a few swizzles, practice getting up, and leaning over to pick up pucks from the ice and throw them to the instructor. My daughter joined us to watch Hamilton on the ice. We laughed about how I wouldn't let her wear a helmet when she was learning to skate (Bad mother in retrospect) because it would throw her balance off. I was concerned that she would fall and chip a tooth apparently. Then she told me that she did wear a helmet one time, fell and hit her mouth - so I was proved prescient in her memory. I don't remember any of it!
After skating and a trip back by subway, we collected my husband and met up with Alex and Hamilton at the Heidelburg, a restaurant near his condo on the Upper East Side. The Heidelburg is in Yorkville, which is historically a German community. The restaurant was established in 1936 and still has the feel of a rathskeller. I wondered if its location in a heavily German neighborhood made it any easier to survive the anti-German feelings during World War II.
After lunch my husband and I went back to the condo to watch videos with Hamilton about space launches. He loves Buzz Lightyear and Falcon Heavy and SpaceX and Apollo 13. Ames circled around us holding on to the coffee table and teetering on his feet.
Swimming lessons are at the 92nd Street Y, a short walk from Alex's condo. Hamilton is further along in his swimming than his skating and the instructors have all sorts of tools and techniques that my kids didn't have when they were learning to swim. Since I hadn't gone to a swimming lesson before I don't have a basis for comparison - but I was definitely one proud grandmother!
Dinner was at the Fulton restaurant down at the tip of Manhattan. We had a great view of three bridges all lit up in their New York finery. It was an awesome way to finish an awesome day with the family.
There was nothing special about the weekend. We didn't go to museums or the top of the Empire State Building. We didn't go shopping - we barely window shopped. It was all time spent with family - lots of time with Alex and Hamilton, less time with Ames since he still naps, a few hours with our daughter who is busy with applications for summer internships and catching up with friends. We saw Hamilton learning new skills like swizzles and Ames taking his first steps. We met some of Hamilton's friends and leapt into his current interests in rockets and space. We came away with a snapshot of who they are growing up to be as of February 2020. Next month will be different - but it will still be awesome.