A few weeks ago, my mom and two young nieces came to visit from California.
My mom and older niece had been before, but this trip was full of my firsts for my younger, six year old niece.
We had a full itinerary of sight seeing and eating our way through NYC, but it was hard to tell at times if the little one was having fun, or if she was just a little tired from all the walking, and instead quietly absorbing everything around her. Or maybe I know nothing about kids and her timid demeanor was totally normal.
My boyfriend reminded me that my older niece acted similarly on her first trip but now has a lot memories from that trip that I can’t even recall. Things like the beautiful gold statues at the entrance to Central Park near Columbus Avenue, or the place we went to for bubble tea, and the cat at the store on the corner by my old apartment (I had to explain both the concept of a bodega and a bodega cat.) She remembered quirky details I completely take for granted living here everyday. It reminded me that NYC is amazing and often an over the top sensory overload. It can take some time, especially as a kid, to fully absorb and process everything it has to offer.
There were a lot of firsts on this trip for my niece like ramen, chopsticks, Dominican food, soup dumplings, pizza slices on the street, dinosaurs, mummies, Islamic art and so much more. She also had so many questions like, “Will I get dirty when we go underground and ride the subway? Will there be rats in the subway cars?”
I was so beyond tired and in need of a vacation by the time they left, but having my family here reignited my appreciation for how truly great this city is. Also made me realize why parents drink after their kids go to sleep at night. :)