“best day ever”

Last summer, my three descendants and I made a plan (or well, I made the plan. Please) to go check out Michael Jackson party in some hipster neighborhood off an obscure stop that was like 50 minutes from the apartment. Dicey proposal right there, since Wonder Twins still don’t quite have the sturdy constitution to handle a significant outing plus the travel to and fro, but what the heck, I moved forward with my plan anyway, and like many of parenting plans, I have these thoughts in my head the entire time as I move forward: Was this a mistake? Should I turn around? Am I the worst?

We finally got to this who-know-where off the G train and still had to do our ten minute walk, but there was no way to cross the street because it was the day of the New York Marathon. Have you ever been at Prospect Park at night and encounter a herd of bicyclists? They’re exactly like a herd of antelope. Like they appear shockingly, suddenly. Their pace makes it feel like it’s thundering, and then whoosh, they’re gone. This was not that. It was much worse. The runners were moving like a constant, rapid river. I had no idea what we were going to do.

We stood there watching all kinds of people running past us, spectators on the sides cheering wildly. We saw a man with one leg (had a prosthetic leg on the other), people with flags on their bellies from several European countries. It was very interesting for the kids, who had a lot of questions as to what was happening and what we were going to do next. This marathon traffic would take hours to die down. As the grown-up, I had this inner monologue at the time “uhhhhhhhh.” You know, just a dumb inner buzz wondering how I am the grownup, etc. I asked a stranger if we were allowed to cross, and based on his advice, “yes, if you can find a break,” I tried to spot our chance. I instructed the children to hold hands and to keep close to me as possible, because we were going to make a run for it. I chickened out several times as First Son called out “we could have gone!” I was just nervous about getting trampled. Finally, got the guts and we darted across, my eye on the crowd to make sure we would avoid runners. As we dashed, Wonder Twin Girl flung her face up to the sky and screamed “BEST DAY EVER!” (She cracks me up. This is the point of the day you’re thrilled by?) Another lady congratulated us for making it and said she mooched off our run and was right behind us.

We met our friends at the place hosting the MJ party. DJ played all of his best songs, a disco ball with flashing colors were the only source of light plus trippy images on screen. The event was for…toddlers. My descendants knew all the words and sang and danced and kind of accidentally knocked over some babies. (But why are you bringing your baby to a loud MJ party? Make room. We have some moonwalking to do.) The mom of the family we met bought me a jack and OJ so it was basically like we were in a club but it was 11 a.m. Par-tay! We had lunch, the kids all got along and had fun, as did the adults. It truly was a great day.

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