Food of all kinds. Authentic cheesecake, actually from New York. Nuts and hot dogs and "street meat" on every corner, the smell of it all overwhelming me. "Egg cream" and latkes and other things we do not eat or drink in the South.
I take pictures and carry my camera and look like a tourist and "ooh" and "ahh"and I don't care who cares. I grab the back of his coat in a crowd so as not to get separated and I look up a lot. I delight in the Christmas trees and decorations all around.
The cabbie drives fast and stops fast and I choose not to look so that I don't screech or exclaim and make things worse. I buckle my seat belt. I am happy to be warm again but my heart beats fast and my legs are tired.
It's a different tired than my usual though.
For, what seems like a world away are my three babies, getting kisses from their Grandmother and taking baths without me there to wash them. Back at the house where I make their meals and fold their clothes and cuddle them at bedtime, hundreds of miles away.
I love being here for a few days, enjoying time with my love, really looking at his face, really hearing what he has to say. Remembering why I fell in love with him in the first place as he cracks a joke or laces his fingers with mine.
But of course we cannot be in this different world forever. The "real world" calls, beckons to me and yanks at my heartstrings, pulling me back to my children.
I will be with them again soon and be reminded of their scent as they rush toward me, seeing my face again after a few days and crying out, "Mommy, Mommy!" Together, we will look at pictures of mine and Daddy's adventures, as we snuggle up on the couch.
Two different worlds, my heart in this moment in both, but soon ready to find its way back HOME...