This was one of those days that, at the end, snuck up on me.
My plan was for us to spend the day in Soho – the morning at the Scholastic Bookstore, with story time and a little browsing. We’d stop for lunch along the way and finish up at the Fire Truck Museum. I had never been to either place and was looking forward to showing them to Noah.
The Scholastic Bookstore is beautiful. And enormous. We got there just in time for story time but I could tell that it was not going to happen for Noah. To start, he was the oldest kid there, by far. And he was so distracted by everything else to see and touch that he had absolutely no interest in sitting and listening to a story.
There was Clifford.
And a large display of tiny toys in cubbies. This is one of Noah’s favorite things in life. If there is a wall of cubbies to organize – museum gift shop, drug store “travel” section, party supply store – Noah is all over it, like it’s his job.
Case in point:
Noah is blissfully unaware that these items are all for purchase (I’m a dead woman when that time comes). For the time being he is beyond content to just take out, look at and arrange them. I resigned myself to the fact that this was where we’d be spending our morning, and let him go to town. I was a little disappointed, but reminded myself that our weekly outings were supposed to be all about what Noah wanted to do, not the agenda I had planned in my head. Besides, we still had the fire truck museum later, which I knew would be a big hit.
He was a happy camper.
We had a nice lunch at a patisserie that Chelsea and I had recently discovered, capping off our meal with a slice of almond cake for Noah and some tiny meringues for me.
We made our way to the NYC Fire Truck Museum, housed in an early-1900’s Beaux Arts fire house. It looked great. But as soon as we walked in, the (very nice) girl at the front desk said, “Before you pay I just want you to know that he can’t ride or climb on any of the trucks.”
I looked at Noah, who was already staring wide-eyed at the trucks just beyond. I was NOT going to toss in the towel on this day so I paid the nominal fee and we went in.
It was actually really cool. There were two large floors filled with fabulous old fire trucks, carriages and equipment, as well as a lovely 9/11 memorial.
Noah was such a champ about not climbing, and was much more engaged than I thought he’d be. I accepted the fact that this would go down as a day that, while not the greatest, was not a total failure either.
I was getting ready to leave when the girl from the front found us. She said that she felt so badly that Noah couldn’t play on the equipment, and would he want to see a video?
We still had some time, so I thanked her and we sat down in the little theater to watch.
The minute the video started I realized exactly what it was. It was the Sesame Street video where Elmo visits a fire house. Perfect, right? And how much does my boy love Elmo?
Here’s the thing – when Noah was in the hospital (which I realized at that moment, was almost exactly one year ago), the staff brought in this same DVD for him to watch. Over the 2 ½ days that we were there we watched it dozens of times. I quickly looked down at Noah, who seemed to have no recollection of this, and was thrilled to see his beloved furry friend.
I shut my eyes, breathed deeply, and relaxed. And by the end of the video I realized that this was not a “failure” of a day. On the contrary. How lucky was I to be able to spend the whole day with my little guy – my healthy, happy boy – who was just as thrilled to play with a bin full of party favors as he was to eat a slice of cake or explore some vintage trucks?
I snuggled in closer and counted my blessings. It was a great day.