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Goodbye Upper East Side

August 14, 2013
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. ~Robert Frost

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. ~Robert Frost

Our recent visit to Manhattan was completely spur of the moment, but the Sunday stroll through Central Park seemed a most befitting way to honor my eldest son’s farewell to the Upper East Side.

He’s lived in NYC for five years now, four spent at Parsons: The New School studying fashion design. Struggling as an assistant designer in Midtown, he’s prudently opted for a smaller apartment on Long Island. I won’t miss climbing four flights of stairs (even though I can take them now without needing CPR). But I will miss the neighborhood of Carnegie Hill: clean, safe, no tourists and mere blocks from Central Park.

The 778-acre botanical oasis seems to always be a part of our visits. This day, we momentarily relaxed on the East Meadow – one of the park’s eight designated quiet zones. (Super quiet today because most people were in the Hamptons, my son explained.) Lying on a blanket in the carpet-like grass, gazing skyward, reminded me of lazy days past with he, his brother and I giggling and cloud-watching away the hours.

After just two meditative breaths (it is New York) we explored the Central Park Conservancy and its English-, French- and Italian-style gardens. My husband and I enthusiastically captured the blooms, the Three Dancing Maidens and the Secret Garden with our cameras. My son and my daughter (his number one fan) strolled arm-in-in-arm catching up on sibling stuff.

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Knowing we wouldn’t see my son again until he’d moved into his new place made us all a bit melancholic. On the drive home to Bucks County, the usual muffled sobs rose from the backseat and that familiar tightening filled my chest.

This move starts an exciting new chapter for my son, but sorrowful parting will probably always be a constant for us even after he gets his new address.

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