I spent the week accomplishing very little, staying close to home, and being pretty selfish. I have been kindly inundated with cards, emails, calls, texts, flowers. I had pastries from my favorite bakery left at my door by a mom friend. We even had a full home cooked dinner delivered by another mom friend. Who says New Yorkers aren't nice?
We did get out to celebrate Halloween though, my least favorite holiday. I don't like dressing up and spending money on a costume the kids are going to wear once and all the candy...ugh. I know, Bah Humbug. But the Scrooge of Halloween pulled it together for the kids this year.
Trick-or-Treating isn't big in New York City, probably for obvious reasons. Taking candy from complete strangers in a big city seems a little irresponsible. If you live in a big apartment building the thing to do is trick-or-treat in your building and usually have a party in the lobby. But since we're in a Brownstone we made other plans.
The American Museum of Natural History has a huge annual party, Fright Night at the Museum, where they decorate the entire museum for Halloween, have candy stations, children's bands. We even saw a magic show. It was actually a lot of fun. We spent a couple hours wandering the halls and having a good time. On the walk home we stopped at a block party a couple blocks from us where all the Brownstones were decorated up and yes, giving away candy. The kids got some trick-or-treating in after all.
The weekend was also spent hibernating. I cancelled all the previous plans we had with friends. I just wanted to spend the weekend with Kevin, Ella and Holden, so that if and when I needed to be sad, I could be sad without the pressure of having to hold it together for others' sake.
After soccer on Saturday morning the four of us spent the entire rest of the day in our apartment playing games and reading. Hours of dominoes, Scrambled States of America and checkers. Ella also got to teach Kevin a couple new strategies she learned in her Friday afternoon chess lessons at school. It was a healing day.
We started Sunday morning around the corner at Barney Greengrass. The waiter walked by and said he wished he had a camera. He thought we were such a perfect family sitting around the table, each child quietly reading their book and Kevin and I engrossed in the Sunday NY Times. I wish he had a camera, too.
In the afternoon we decided to remember my dad by taking the kids to see some live jazz. He would have absolutely loved that. The Jazz Standard is a club in the Lower East Side that in addition to staging some of the world's most acclaimed jazz musicians, on Sundays they are home to the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra, an ensemble of talented child jazz musicians. We ate BBQ and enjoyed listening to some very talented young musicians. It was also fun to watch their parents in the audience, bursting with pride.
Holden is now begging for drum lessons. Ugh.
My father's obituary appeared in today's San Francisco Chronicle. If you want to know a little bit about what an amazing person he was, read on.