I moved out and went to college when I was 18, went to England when I was 20, spent time in India, and lived for a time in Africa. I’m pretty independent. From the minute I moved out, my relationship with my parents changed from one of parent and child to friends. Make no mistake, I still respect and admire my parents, we still talk every day when we’re oceans apart and we’re very much a part of each other’s everyday lives (perhaps to a fault). But I am strong and independent, which is how my Mama raised me.
This past week, however, I happily regressed. Andy and I moved into our new apartment in New York City and I simply could not have survived this ordeal without my parents. Though we were excited to move into our new place, we were stressed. We arrived mid-morning and Dad and Andy quickly set to work hanging paintings, assembling our four-poster bed, putting up the shower curtain, vacuuming, and making sure the rugs were perfectly in place. Mom helped me unpack my kitchen equipment, re-folded all my napkins and tablecloths, made me address the clothing boxes I was avoiding. And, blessedly, she brought lunch and dinner.
After a gung-ho morning start, by noon we were desperately in need of sustenance. Mom had pre-made turkey sandwiches (complete with labels denoting mustard type) and laid out pickles and three bags of chips. Fortified, we pressed onwards through the boxes and bubble-wrap maze. Come dinner time we were all exhausted. Had it been just Andy and me, we would have ordered takeout. But Mom, wonderful Mom, had dinner all planned. Salad, a dish of homemade macaroni and cheese and the meatloaf she had made the day before. She tossed the salad (in a gallon Ziploc bag), effortlessly threw the mac & cheese and meatloaf in the oven, lit some candles, put out a bowl of nuts and opened a bottle of wine.
With dinner in the oven and totally stress free, the four of us pulled some chairs onto the balcony and sipped wine in plastic cups while we admired the city lights from twenty stories up. We made big plans—Broadway shows we’d see, restaurants we’d frequent and the logistics of sleeping six people in our one bedroom apartment. A perfect end to the day.
Thanks Mom and Dad for helping us move. And particularly, Mom, for cooking a wonderful moving-in meal. I couldn’t have asked for more. It almost atones for the fact that you broke one of my Tiffany Champagne flutes.