Twins Take Manhattan, Part 1

This weekend we packed up the minivan and headed north to NYC. Months ago my sister invited us up so that Sam could attend the American Museum of Natural History’s “A Night at the Museum.” An unbelievable event inspired by the movie of the same name. Explore the museum by flashlight? Sleep under a big blue whale? Yes and yes!

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But first we had all day Saturday to explore. Sam had two things on his list: 1) Visit the Empire State Building and 2) Climb the 354 steps to Lady Liberty’s crown. Although climbing the steps without a reservation was highly unlikely, we settled on the latter in the hope that the crowds would be less intense for John’s sake.

Who knows what we were thinking — the line was endless. It took more than two hours to board the ferry to Liberty Island. As long as John had space to jump and skip and move at the edges of the line as it snaked around Battery Park, he was okay. But as we neared security, it became exceedingly difficult for him as the queue narrowed. Sensory overload, a crush of people, and security was high. He was not allowed to walk through the scanner with Elmo — instead Elmo had to take his own ride through the x-ray machine in a bin with coats and bags. Because, you know, Elmo might be a terrorist. I am grateful for the security, just try explaining it to John. 

Once aboard, he refused to go up to the deck, even though he’s been riding ferries since he was three. So the two of us stayed below and watched Lady Liberty through the windows. What an awe-inspiring sight as we neared. I sang softly in his ear “Come and play, everything’s A-okay…,” the only tune I could muster to quiet his sobs.

Should we have pushed so hard? I don’t know. I know that we’ve bailed on other events for much less. How on earth could I have disappointed Sam by giving up? Once we arrived and were off the boat, he was thrilled. So much open space to run around in, a perfect breeze on his face. We’d do things differently next time. Reservations perhaps? Get there earlier? We are not often spontaneous — it’s just not how we roll, but you know what? It worked out in the end. I am so proud of both my boys and even better, I think John was proud of himself.

To be continued…

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