Mom left my place this morning in order to visit one of my aunts on Long Island. I'd have liked to have joined her, but I had to go to work tonight. She's on the fence about whether she'll return to the City of Y______ on Tuesday or go straight back to Virginia.
Before she left, one of her neighbors, who has never visited New York City, admonished her to "be careful". This amused mom to no end because she is a New York City (specifically a Bronx) girl, and she knows that New York is one of the safest large cities in the U.S., indeed the world. I can imagine how freaked out her neighbor will be when mom mentions that she took a subway ride down from the Bronx to midtown Manhattan. Both she and I can't figure out why so many people have such a distorted view of New York City.
I took mom to work on Friday so she was able to meet three of my two-legged co-workers and Fred and Ginger. She immediately took a liking to all of my co-workers, bipedal and quadrupedal. While onsite, we met two women from Colorado, and I gave them an impromptu tour of the vicinity. One of the women is studying Waldorf pedagogy in New Jersey. I told her that we ran some craft-oriented events which she should check out from a "Waldorf" perspective. I didn't tell her that everything I knew about Waldorf pedagogy can be attributed to the fact that I am a huge Nena fan, but I realize that the lovely Nena Kerner started a Sudbury school, not a Waldorf school. I don't know why I conflated the two... my mind gets kinda fuzzy when I think about Nena Kerner. Whenever I take someone to work when the site is closed, I run into lovely people I take on the unofficial tour- it never fails.
Over the course of her visit, mom and I went out for pizza (the stuff in Virginia is sub-par at best) twice, the first time to a local spot and the second time to the Yonkers location of Pepe's (the cold winter has kept the clam boats from going out, so we had a spinach, mushroom, and gorgonzola pizza rather than one of the famous clam pies). We consumed two bottles of vino, a bottle of Valpolicella and a bottle of Prosecco, and I gave mom the last bottle of homemade limoncello to take home, so I'll have to head up to Connecticut to buy pure grain alcohol, an errand which the abominable weather had kept me from doing these past two months.
On Thursday night, we went out to dinner with some of my long-standing friends, people that she hasn't seen in a long time. She always loved to have her kids' friends over to our house when we lived at home, and being able to hang out with them was a particular treat for everybody.
Mom got to meet a bunch of my neighbors, who all told her that I have a "satisfactory" grade on my neighborly report card. We visited the old neighborhood that mom moved out of seventeen years ago, and dropped in on our old across-the-street neighbor, who was crying tears of joy to see us. We were very close, she and mom had similar values and attitudes. I'm going to have to disagree with Morrissey on this one.
The highlight of the visit was mom attending yesterday's closing exercises for the program for which I volunteer as a coach. She got to see some of the older coaches who she hasn't seen in years, met the newer coaches, and fell in love with the kids in the program.
For me, the important thing was that mom got to see me interact with multiple social circles: friends, neighbors, co-workers, volunteer colleagues, random strangers. One of these days, I'll convince her to start a blog so she can meet the bloggerhood.