Today is our last day in the city. I have plans to catch up with friends so Matt takes the boys to Central Park to sail the small sailboats. I meet A. (a best friend from grad school at Columbia and my ‘man of honor’ at our wedding) at his Time Warner office which has an amazing view of Columbus Circle and Central Park. I love this man. Even after not talking in what seems like forever, we can dive right in. We talk about having children. He says that in his B.C. (before children) life, he was careless – in the sense that he had few cares and cared less about things. If a job doesn’t work out, who cares? “Now,” he says, “I’m more careful – in the sense of being full of care about things that didn’t use to matter.” It’s clear that having children has changed him and profoundly shifted his priorities. After lunch, I hug A. goodbye and go meet an ex at a tea shop. We catch up and he regales me with tales of his forays into the dating world. We talk about love, change and loss – and coming back to life after loss. There isn’t a greater contrast to life than death. And there are few people more full of life than my 74-years-young mother. She and my aunt drive down and meet us at the boat for dinner.
After dinner, Matt and the boys challenge her to a kickball game. She is all in. My aunt whispers that she hated playing games with my mom because she was so competitive. She is hysterical to watch – she catches a fly ball and then gets a second out in the same play by tagging a base. She does a victory dance and high-fives Joshua. She is exuberant, she is fun, she is unbelievably loving, she is amazing. She is my mother.