This title comes from an advertisement in the November 2017 issue of Southern Living Magazine. The advertisement is for Kiawah Island. When reading this back issue earlier today, the title hit me as an apt description for the fast passing of time, something I am more keenly aware of recently than ever before. In my earlier years, I think I thought that time would last forever. Now at 66 years of age, I know better. That is one reason I am committed to making memories that will last forever, because I know I will not. One of the memories that I hope will last forever is time spent with our dear children and grandchildren. The most recent of those is a wonderful trip to NYC with our middle granddaughter, Elsie, to celebrate her 11th birthday.
I am reminded of a business colleague of my husband Mike’s, Paul O’Day. Paul passed away last year, but not before he and his wife spent precious time taking each of their grandchildren on a special trip at a certain age. Paul talked about those memories several times when we were with him. Although he no longer is, I am sure that those memories are alive with his loved ones.
Since first hearing of those trips from Paul O’Day, I have heard from others how they also make memories with their grandchildren. All of those memories do not have to involve travel, but in our case, since travel is a big part of our lives, it seemed appropriate to take our grandchildren on a special trip. So, Mike and I decided that we should not wait any longer to begin that tradition, and we decided to begin with Elsie, whose birthday occurred soon after our decision. Elsie was given the choice of where to travel for her special trip with us, and she chose NYC.
Our trip with Mary Grace, who is soon to be 13, will be this year also. Although five-year-old Virginia is already talking about her trip, that will have to wait until she is older!
Elsie and I flew from Jacksonville, Florida to NYC on Wednesday morning, February 7th. This trip coincided with a business trip of Mike’s, and he flew in later that day from a business trip in Miami. Although we only had two full days, we managed to do everything that was on Elsie’s list.
This included the School of Rock play, a Mani/Pedi, a hair styling for her and one of her American Girl dolls, an ear piercing for her doll, a trip to the Statue of Liberty which included a walk to the crown, lunch at the American Girl Café on her birthday, and a visit to Rockefeller Plaza to greet the Today Show hosts. It was quite exciting that Al Roker, who happens to be Elsie’s favorite Today Show host, shook her hand and wished her a happy birthday! Additionally, we had pizza the first night at Uncle Paul’s and dinner the second night at Eataly. We also visited the American Girl store several times and even had Elsie’s hair done a second time before her birthday lunch. What we did not do much of was rest!
After Elsie’s birthday lunch at the American Girl Café, we boarded the plane and left New York Friday afternoon. We arrived in Jacksonville in time to celebrate Elsie’s birthday with family and her bestie Stella at Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant.
As I think about our trip to New York with Elsie, I am so grateful that we had this special time with her. I think that is the first time that we have had Elsie all by herself. Mary Grace, being the firstborn, had the family all to herself for a couple of years before Elsie was born. Virginia has had special time when her two older sisters were away at camp. I do not recall us ever having Elsie without her sisters also being present. Being the middle child, and also given her personality, Elsie does not “demand” attention. It was wonderful to have Elsie all by herself and to be able to give her undivided attention. I think we need to make time for each granddaughter alone, and not just with special trips. Their parents do spend time with each of the girls, and this time alone with Elsie has made me aware of the importance of this.
Elsie looked forward to her special trip with us with great anticipation. She was so excited about it before and during the experience. Now that it has passed, I am sure there is somewhat of a letdown for her. I feel the same. In the middle of the experience, I knew we were having a very special time, and that it would end too soon. While the trip had to end, I hope that the memories will last.
I hope that the memories of our special trip to NYC with Elsie will remain with her long past the time when we can’t.
P.S. This Blog Post was written before hearing of the tragedy in the Broward County, Florida high school shooting. I can’t imagine the grief of the parents and other family members who lost loved ones in this tragedy. My prayers are with all of those involved in this latest horrific school shooting.