I recently took a mini vacation with my mom to New York City. She just retired and celebrated her 56th birthday. I thought it would be really cool to treat her to 4 days of site seeing, mother/daughter bonding and a little shopping. I was really looking forward to walking through Central Park’s Strawberry Fields during the month of John Lennon’s 70th birthday.
I fantasized about standing , gazing at the ‘Imagine’ memorial, allowing one tear to fall. Later, sitting amongst young hipsters, explaining to my mom the different conspiracy theories of Lennon’s death. Talking about the songs and how they inspire me to want to help stop war and stand up against senseless killing and hatred in the world.
So… There I was, in a very busy department store. Searching for my mother. Floor after floor, escalator after escalator. 45 minutes of searching and panicking because she can’t find me. Her hot flashes testing her temper, the perfume counter triggering a migraine, the crowds inducing a claustrophobia she wouldn’t be able to handle. It plagued me to think of her upset and sad that I lost track of her.
My eyes welled up with tears and I gave up. I had to get some air. I pushed my way out of the door and stumbled on to the street. I took in a breath of cool air and exhaled setting my gaze upon my mother. Sitting. Smoking. Sipping cheap coffee from up the street.
“You all done shopping Hun?” She asked, smoke escaping her lipstick’d lips. I forced my shoulders down from my ears, cooled down, and requested we return to the hotel as I felt a migraine coming on. She, on the other hand felt great.
This is it. I thought. I’m the adult. I’m the organizer and the leader. A claustrophobic , uptight daughter who is being told to ’loosen up’. I’m face to face with myself. Gazing at my sensible slip on clogs and my new reading glasses. Minimal makeup and simple ponytail.
My mom butts out her cigarette on the sidewalk with her trendy, purple, high heeled boot and tells me to ’chill out’.
New York, New York…