Wednesday, June 04, 2014

new york state of mind

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In May, I had the awesome privilege of talking to - not one, but two! - live audiences about my daughter.

As a cast member of the inaugural Listen To Your Mother Charleston, I stood with fourteen other authors to read stories about mothering. Our stories melded to create something bigger than the sum of its parts, a delightfully rich and nutty Southern literary motherhood pie. 

My slice of the pie? Sharing a story about raising a daughter, of course. About how she challenges me, about how she sees me as a powerful woman, and about how she helps me see myself as a powerful woman. It was this writing/performing mother's dream job.

The best part of my life is being a mom to this amazing child. My relationship with her is one of my favorite things to write about. 

Because she has changed me for the better.

If it wasn't for her, I would have missed out on so many amazing stories. If it wasn't for her, I may have never started writing again. If it wasn't for her, I wonder if I would have ever found my bearings, my purpose, an even keel. If it wasn't for her, I fear I would have gone through life without truly appreciating my own mother and the love she has for me. If it wasn't for her, I may have never started taking risks again, stepping out of my comfort zone, and re-discovering how powerful I can be.

Today, as we end our school year, I get to take this amazing girl on a trip. She and I are taking our adopted German daughter (our exchange student) to New York for a very quick trip before she has to return to Germany. Luckily, we're traveling on the cheap. We found low fares to JFK, we're staying with a friend, we got discounted show tickets, and we're going to be doing a lot of walking and exploring and subway riding. 

This is the second time my daughter and I have explored NYC together. The last time, she was only 10. We explored the city on our own for several days. FAO Schwarz. 5th Avenue. Broadway. Street food. Subways. Museums. Central Park. Times Square. Staten Island Ferry. And even a trip back across the river to her favorite spot - Hoboken, NJ for a visit to Carlos Bakery. 

How many kids say their favorite part of a trip to NYC was Hoboken? Probably just one - mine. 

When I tell people about our upcoming whirlwind trip, they react different ways. Some say it sounds fun. Others say, "Oh, I could never do that - just take off for New York on my own! Aren't you nervous?"

Maybe I should be. I could think about all the things that could go wrong. I could worry about what might happen. 

But I choose not to. 

Instead, I think about seeing the big bustling city - the capital of the world - through the eyes of these girls. I think of empowering them with knowledge and experience and adventure. I think of how I'm not going "on my own" - I'm going with two other strong girls. 

I will miss my DosEquis while we're gone. He's staying home, working, playing with the dogs, holding down the fort. Normally we do everything in tandem. But our going on this girls-only trip was his idea. 
Gotta love a man who loves powerful women. 

So we're off to handle Manhattan. Just three powerful women taking on the most powerful city in the world. Getting prepared, taking a chance and waiting to see what's going to happen. 

We're in a New York state of mind. 

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