When we were beginning to plan my daughter’s seventh birthday, we asked her if she would rather have a birthday party with all of her friends, or take a trip with her parents. Thankfully, because she was turning seven and not thirteen, Ruby said that she wanted to go to New York City and see a Broadway show with us. So she did.
It was immediately clear that Edward was not going to be allowed into any sort of Broadway theater, because they would have heard him coming from Columbus Circle and pre-banned all of us from entering, so we made other arrangements for him first, and had a “just the three of us” weekend, which was a very nice change of pace. It was a little odd to spend almost a full forty-eight hours without anyone bashing their head into me repeatedly, but we got onto the subway at rush hour, which solved that problem.
We took the subway to Times Square on Friday night, not because we wanted to, obviously, but because we were going to start our weekend with a movie, and the only place it was playing was at the AMC theater on 42nd street. Ruby’s favorite movies in the world (besides Frozen of course) are the films of Hayao Miyazaki. Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, The Secret World of Arriety, etc, etc. His final film, The Wind Rises, has so far not been playing in Vermont, but it was playing in New York and we went to see it, after being accosted by Iron Man, Cookie Monster,and Mickey Mouse, to name only a few.
I’m not sure if any of you have seen this movie, but let me tell you, it was not what we were expecting. If one was expecting whimsical mermaids, flying cat-vehicles, tiny elf-people, or any of the other fantastical things found in most of the other films, than one was slightly confused and disappointed. If, however, one was expecting a sad and depressing history of World War II from the viewpoint of a frustrated Japanese engineer, then one was filled with excitement and joy. It was a fine film, I suppose, but next time I take my six-year-old to a movie, I guess I will at least read the synopsis first.
But she wasn’t going to stay six forever! In the morning she was immediately seven, and we left straight away for the Statue of Liberty, which was her number one request, aside from the show. She loved it, and used some of her allowance to purchase a giant foam torch that she poked us with for the rest of the day. Bear also gave us some reports from the Statue of Libearty, which he told us he was visiting, although one can never really trust Bear.
We decided, erroneously, that we had time for lunch before the 2 pm show, so we took a cab over to Katz’s Deli, because Ruby said she wanted a sandwich. Having never been there before, we were immediately confused and horrified by the chaos and the shouting. Everyone else seemed to know what to do, but I managed to get in and out of several lines without ordering any food. I managed to sit at an incorrect table that I was then booted from. And I managed to get in the wrong line to pay for my food, all of which made us much later than we had wanted to be. By the time we got into another taxi, we were concerned that we were not going to make the show on time.
The taxi drove past our stop, so after some shouting and banging we managed to escape the cab and sprint a few blocks to the theater, where we were warned that if we were not in our seats when the show started in 45 seconds, we were not going to be let in. We made it with zero seconds to spare. We fell into our seats as the lights dimmed and the music began. The show we had chosen was Matilda, which we had previously read the book version of, and seen the movie version of, so we thought it would be a big hit.
I think it was a big hit, in as much as it could be, because it was about this time that Ruby began to get sick. Not stomach sick or anything, but it was quite clear that she was not feeling well, and by the time the show was over her head was feeling warm and she had no energy at all. Our big plan of taking her to the giant Toys R Us and The Disney Store so she could pick out some presents and spend all of her savings didn’t really work out, as she was so overwhelmed and exhausted that she just asked to go home. So we went home and went to bed, with fancy dinner and dessert plans left undone.
We had thought about doing something fun Sunday morning as well, maybe a breakfast, or a walk to Central Park, but she was still feeling lousy so we drove home a bit early. By the time we picked Edward up last night she seemed to be feeling slightly better, but it’s never fun to be sick on your birthday, so her mother and I felt a little bad about it. Ruby insisted that she’d had a great time, and I’m sure that she did, but I think we’ll have to do it again in the future. This time was just practice. And now we have another excuse to take a trip.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, that when we got home that night, we found Bear sitting on the couch holding a souvenir from the Statue of Libearty, so I guess he was telling the truth. You can never tell with that Bear.