June 20, 2011

lost on the A train

We had a double whammy holiday in the house yesterday, with both Father's Day and Will's birthday falling on the same day this year. I'm sure it's happened before, probably seven years ago, but for some reason I can't remember it. I'll blame mommy brain. After all, I would have had a one year old at the time and that first year of Briton's life is pretty much a blur of feed, change diaper, try to sleep, bounce in the bouncy chair, feed, repeat.
Yesterday Will had to scoot off to studio for the morning to get some work done but we got to spend the afternoon and evening with Jason, one of our oldest friends and godfather extraordinaire, who happened to be in town for work. After puttering around the apartment, the playgarden and the campus, we wandered down Riverside park, catching up while the kids rode scooters and Briton tried his best to dominate the conversation with Ninjago (Ninja Lego's for those of you who do not have an eight year old boy in the house) talk (At one point I told him that he should try talking to us about something other than Lego's and he said "Mom, I'd rather not talk at ALL than not talk about Lego's! Asking me not to talk about Lego's is like, like, THE WORST THING EVER!")

Eventually we got hungry and decided to go to Brooklyn for dinner. This would be our New York equivalent of "let's go for a drive and see where we end up" because we didn't actually have a restaurant or even a street in mind, never having been to Brooklyn other than my recent trip to the craft festival, but we decided that if we aimed for the neighborhood just over the Brooklyn Bridge, which Will dimly remembered as being downtownish from driving through en route (in a circular, round the city kind of way) to returning the moving truck. We walked up to the closest subway station and hopped on the train. And then things went a little south.
The train was crazy crowded. Where on earth people were heading on a Sunday evening, I'm not sure, but they were all trying to get downtown. By the time we changed to the A train to head for Brooklyn, Evelyn was fast asleep in Will's arms, Briton was hitting the hunger wall and Jason and I were hauling the scooters. And then the conductor came on the loud speaker.

I wish I spoke conductor.

You know how Lily on How I met Your Mother can understand the most garbled announcement on the subway? Well, that's a talent I need to develop. Because, even after two stops and four repetitions of the announcements, all I could gather was that the train we were on was not headed to where we wanted to go. I'm sure there was something in there about how to get where we wanted to go, but we never figured that out. Instead, we turned around and headed north again.

On the wrong train.

Because none of us have the sharpest eyesight anymore and it was really hard to tell what letter the map on the phone screen said. It could have been disastrous. I probably would have gotten huffy about my day being ruined but Jason and Will were unflappable. Hauling kids and scooters and helmets up and down subway stairs, shrugging it off when, yet again, we buzzed right through the station we thought we were getting off at. Because they are both that kind of dad.

Eventually, several trains later, we ended up at a burger joint right by our street celebrating Father's Day at last. And you know what? It was perfect. Beer and burgers and fries and friends and kids who were revived by a cat nap and some ice cream. Perfect.
Happy Father's day to all the dads out there, (And most especially to my own wonderful dad and husband) who balance work and school and friends and family and still manage to smile and have a good time in life. Who take it in stride when they have to sit in a crowded studio for part of their special day and smile when their wives assure them that this is the right train, honestly, oops maybe not and love wonky paintings and slobbery kisses for joint birthday/Father's Day gifts.

We love you.

Even when you decide that your Birthday cannoli is just too good to share. It's ok, you deserve to eat the whole box.