Two years before that, while L was but a uterine barnacle, we'd taken E to introduce her to the city that never sleeps, and never was a more fitting match made. So when we drove north exactly a year ago with the two girls in the backseat and this baby boy still a bulge in my belly, E felt that she was introducing L to her beloved urban dream. We chauffeured, and E taught L about yellow taxis.
E, at the beginning of the last trip, only remembered New York through the stories we told and photos we shared with her. But last year the magic of the city truly took hold and she fell in love. L probably only remembers New York through stories and photos, and the added ingredient of her sister's enthusiasm. We'll need to take her again so she can develop her own memories. They ask often when we can go to New York again and we say next year sometime, when your brother is a little older.
(Translation: when your collective sleep habits stabilize enough for us to contemplate an extended hotel stay in a sane frame of mind.)
They knew G was coming, during this trip last year. I was six months' pregnant. They knew they had a baby brother en route.
On our last morning when while we contemplated souvenirs L fell asleep as we rode the big ferris wheel in the Times Square ToysRUs. That left E and me to finish the shopping. She found something for herself and something for her sister and then, she insisted, we needed to buy a present for her brother. It needed to be something good for a baby, something that would introduce him to New York City. She picked out a little plush taxi with motorized wheels. With a flip of a switch it drives haphazardly in unpredictable directions across the floor.
A year ago today we were driving home from E's second trip to New York City, L's first trip, G's negative first. The thing that made me realize the anniversary of that adventure is that I was watching G play on the kitchen floor, with his very favorite toy.