The concept of a “babymoon” is kind of ridiculous, as it speaks to a truly spoiled society where we feel entitled to wonderful things and experiences before welcoming into our lives something that promises to also be a wonderful thing and experience. It belies our unspoken belief that children ruin fun, so we need to squeeze in that last adventure before some kid comes and ends Life As We Know It.
But it also speaks to the fact that sometime mid-pregnancy, James and I looked at each other and were like, “Oh. Things are about to get harder now. Like good- but harder, so maybe we should do one last adventure, not before we can’t ever have fun again, but while it’s easy.” Because this kid will be an adventure in and of himself, and we plan on exploring the world with our children, but they will also be the end to the gloriously selfish existence that a married couple in their late twenties enjoys pre-children. Hashtag brunch hashtag late nights hashtag no cares.
We originally planned on heading somewhere with waves and sand, taking advantage of some airline miles to relax in the Caribbean. But then Zika swept up from South America and I panicked about maybe damaging this baby even before he shows up and I most assuredly ruin him in some way, somehow. Instead, we decided to just take the weekend to go up to New York City. We hadn’t been in a couple years, and there were lots of key tourist things that I at least had never done. Plus, what better way to exercise our last trip pre-baby than by reveling in all the things that children make more difficult? And no, I don’t mean luxurious dinners and catching shows on Broadway. I mean skimping to take the bus over the train, staying at an AirBnb on the fifth floor with no elevator, and walking everyyyyywherrrreee.
Of course, a main goal was really just to go back here for our absolute favorite brunch.Schiller’s – we love you. And you know it, since I rhapsodized about my Schiller’s craving to the waiter to the point where he gave me a bag of free donuts for the road as a treat. You, kind waiter man, know the way to a pregnant woman’s heart. Then, in a touristy moment to match my distinctly “soccer mom on vacation in the big city” attire, we took the ferry to swing by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.I love a good museum, and Ellis Island did not disappoint. We were the nerds who wanted to go on the ranger guided tour, and as no one else showed up, we enjoyed an amazing private tour of everything. This also meant that we had a guide at our personal disposal for my super eager questions about what people ate on the ships/island. See? A nice head-to-toe portrait of said Momstyle. Supportive shoes on point, pasty legs present, sensible comfort clothes represent. Might as well continue this cliché parade and gaze down at my bump to see if it’s still there:Yep, still there. And basically doubling by the instant. Baby boy/I was growing at a nice leisurely pace… but I think that he didn’t get the memo about me needing to fit into a bridesmaid’s dress the week of his due date because he has accelerated things in a manner that can only be described as shocking. Of course, I guess I can’t blame everything on him, since I took great pains to pad that bump myself during our visit. We enjoyed an amazing dinner at Tipsy Parson… but we also pre-gamed it at an Italian restaurant… and then post-gamed it with pizza in Times Square, since I really wanted to experience every touristy thing that I haven’t done. As I was dragging myself back to the apartment, I brashly declared to James that I was starting another Whole30 as soon as we got back to DC… but he wisely pointed out I might feel differently when I hadn’t just spent the whole day eating my way around Manhattan.On Sunday we crossed over to Brooklyn for brunch with a friend, including the fluffiest pancakes I ever did see. That smile though? Totally because he and James were making fun of me for ruining the cool Brooklyn vibe by geeking out and taking photos of our food. No shame- Five Leaves served up such a colorful and tasty brunch that I did what needed to be done. We walked back to Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge, whereupon I was determined to get a Brooklyn Bridge Bump Jumpshot. This proved much more difficult than anticipated, as launching yourself in the air when you are hauling around an extra person and his accessories doesn’t work so well. But even if the jumping wasn’t pretty, that bridge is such a site to see. Again, a touristy thing to do… but maybe some things are popular because they actually are beautiful and worth seeing. After extricating James from a group of street performers who pulled him from the crowd to be in their dance number (I KNOW- I AM SO SORRY I DON’T HAVE ANY PHOTOS-I WAS TOO BUSY CLAPPING WITH THE MUSIC), we made our way to Central Park, along with the five million other people worshiping the perfect weather. Momstyle numero dos. Because chambray shirts as jackets are all the rage over here in the land of Nothing Fits. Plus, this picture highlights both my enthusiasm over the stunning weather, and the strange fringe of stringy bang-like hairs that have grown along my forehead during pregnancy… not exactly what I had in mind when people talked about amazing hair growth while expecting. All snark aside (not that I ever could, or would want to, leave it aside), our weekend in New York was everything we wanted. I won’t say needed, because it is a luxury to just dash away on an adventure for a couple days, to see so many wonderful things, to eat at so many delicious places.
But what we wanted was a time to hold hands on new streets, to have those conversations you only have when you are away from daily life, to laugh and explore and joke and feel perfectly giddy at the thought that this might be the last adventure like this for awhile. Not because we are sad about that, but because the chapter that is ending has been so good, even if the one that is beginning promises to be pretty great too.
And we got exactly what we wanted.