“Oh, I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to miss it.”
There we were again. Running down the street. The bus had just turned the corner, and if we caught the light just right we’d beat it to the bus stop. Squish was in the carrier, laughing at being jostled while I ran. Manchild was holding my hand, peeking behind us every few steps to check the bus’s status. And I had a bag of groceries on each shoulder, heavy with canned goods and fresh produce for our upcoming Thanksgiving feast.
“We’re going to make it, Buddy. Don’t worry, we’re going to make it.” We made it to the stop before the bus entered the intersection. I waved to the driver, unsure if he would see us because of the construction equipment parked in the bus lane. He didn’t. He drove right on by. And we were back at it. We jogged after him for half a block and realized it was useless. He’d caught a light that we’d missed. We’d have to wait for the next bus. We trudged along to the next stop and set the bags down.
“Thanks for running with me, Little Man. I really wanted to catch that bus. I’m sorry we missed it.”
“I wanted to catch it too.”
“We’ll just have to wait for the next one.”
Standing there, waiting for the bus, I remembered a conversation I’d had with my uncle years ago. I was about to start my senior year of high school and he was excited for me to be experiencing the “glory days.” Glory days, my eye, I thought. If college applications, AP tests, and having some of my best friends leave me for greener pastures constituted my glory days, I was in for a rough life. After some discussion we came to the conclusion that every phase of our lives could be part of the glory days, that things keep getting better and better.
With nearly ten more years under my belt, I can fairly confidently say that they do. My senior year ended up not being so bad. College was nice. But it is these days that I can see myself in 10, 20, 40, 80 years from now, looking back at and saying, “Boy oh boy. That was awesome.”
Because it is awesome. It’s incredible that we get to live in New York City. We have some of the greatest cultural institutions in the world at our fingertips. We get to be a part of communities that are so diverse that we can hardly understand each other when we talk, even though we’re all speaking English. We get to sketch our days using subway and bus maps and plan to take trips to the end of the line, just to see what is there. Of course it hard, too. It’s hard to start each day knowing the places we need to go and the things we need to do, wondering if the boys and the trains and the stars will all align so that we’ll be able to get through it and still have a chance to relax. But it is a blessing on those days when they all do align and the relaxing happens even while we’re running errands and going places and doing things. Those moments are gold. Those days are gold. These days are gold.
Every now and then, I’m able to take a step back from whatever it is that we’re doing. I see myself sitting at a kitchen table in some other place, in some other time, remembering what it was like to do what I am doing right now. Sometimes I’m telling the boys about some incident they were too young to remember; sometimes we’re remembering together how much fun it was to watch and listen to scenes and voices of the city. And whatever it is that we’re talking about in that future life, the thing that I keep hearing is, “I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to miss it.”
I’m so glad we didn’t miss it.