I’m reminiscing this week in honor of our anniversary. Read the first post here.
Our first Thanksgiving in New York is one of my favorite
Thanksgivings. My family all came to visit. Our little apartment was crowded
with people I loved. My dear friend J and her boyfriend (now husband), S, came
for the meal. S saved Thanksgiving by catching the turkey with his bare hands
while Kansas Dad was turning it.
I remember the Easter Vigil when Kansas Dad joined the
Church. I’d only been to one Vigil before, the one when my father joined and I
was very young, so it all seemed new to me. The church glowed with light and I
was incredibly happy to be Catholic.
I have so many wonderful memories of our time in New York: eating
cannoli in our Bronx neighborhood, walking through Union Square Park, wandering
Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the Indian restaurant we frequented in Park Slope,
the night we went to the opera (one of the few times we enjoyed the “culture”
in New York without a guest or two to justify the expense), and, perhaps my
favorite of all, riding the Staten Island ferry there and back. It was such a
treat to stand with you on the deck and watch Lady Liberty and the New York
skyline drift by.
The summer before First Son was born, just before our fifth
anniversary, we vacationed for two weeks in Italy and France. I had never been.
It was delightful: gelato, bisteca
florintine, St. Peter’s and the Scavi,
all the museums and art I’d only seen in books, and that gem of a museum in
Lyon on printing where Kansas Dad had to read the signs to me because I didn’t
know French. We bought a rosary at the Vatican gift shop, carefully selected
for the baby to be born in a few months.
I remember when First Son was born. Exhausted, I looked at Kansas
Dad as he choked out, “It’s a boy! We have a son!” There were tears in his eyes
and for a brief moment, the lights and noise and movement in the room around us
faded and I could see only him. I loved him almost unbearably in the moment.
The memories of the births of each of our children are dear to me, but this
first was one of the most powerful moments of my life.
I remember watching Kansas Dad carry First Son around our
tiny Brooklyn apartment when he was just a few days old. He was swaddled
tightly and he was crooning into his ear, reading some theology textbook aloud
to him, studying and soothing at the same time. I could never have known how
wonderful a father he would be when we married, but I thanked God for my whole