my 50mm lens broke. then one phone died while the other disappeared. two days later a water balloon burst all over (and killed) my one-month-old laptop. a water balloon. inside my home. i can really only blame myself, but still, there were a few days these past two weeks where i was pretty sure that life was against me.
then the crisp fall wind came and blew in the anniversary of our wedding. nine years. (high-five, chip). last tuesday rolled around, chip surprise-took the day off work and pushed me out of the door to have a day of wandering all to myself. the city was wonderful and strange without my squad. i hardly knew what to do or how to interact with the city without kids.. or at the very least without the threat of an outrageous babysitting bill or looming pick-up time. but, i eventually figured it out. i wandered in soho and central park, i saw a movie at 5pm at the Paris (i was the youngest by 35 years, at least. maybe my favorite NY movie viewing experience to date.), i wandered down 5th avenue and grew even firmer in my deep love of brooklyn. chip and i met at balthazar for dinner, wandered to the east village for ice cream and another movie, then took a cab to the west village to stay the night at the jane*. all by ourselves. no kids calling our names in the night or "whispering" in our faces in the morning. it was a first ever and it was nice. and chip did it all. (big-time high-five, chip). the next morning i watched the hudson from our window and after leaving the hotel, chip took off to work while i slowly wandered home.
for a life that has seemed anything but carefree lately, it was the perfect gift. the break from everything, the time alone with chip and the happy reunion with the kids.. just right.
and now we are back. back to schedules and volunteering and lunch-packing and scrambling to find the missing shoe and fundraising and playing and eating and meetings and eating (charlie is beastly hungry all the time lately) and trying our best to wrap it all up in pajamas, brushed teeth and a cup full of water before 8pm every night.. and i'm trying my best to approach all we have going on with the same happy attitude i approached my day of wandering.
so it seemed right that when reuniting with my lonely sewing machine i turn to one of my favorite japanese craft books newly translated into english (hooray!); carefree clothes for girls. the japanese version made me want to dye the girls' hair red and move to the country, and the new english version does the same.. but since that doesn't make any sense (yet) i'm happy that it also makes me want to sew up a ton of these adorable clothes for eve and ruth's life in the city.
i skipped on the lovely handwork the book instructs for the apron (i get impatient for a final product when i haven't sewn in awhile.. but really, the detailed handwork in the book is insanely charming). and i went for strips of bias tape along the pant leg rather than the wide lace in the instructions- no lace on hand and i find stripes+cropped pant+little girl to be an irresistible combination (and who really has the power to resist the sailor trend, especially after just lodging in the "captain's quarters" at a hotel that was originally built to lodge sailors in port and was actually home to the survivors of the titanic while that sad mess was sorted out? not me). i love it. simple and darling and so easy to sew. eve's feelings about the outfit? she can put "special secret and even super secret messages and things in the gigantic pocket without anyone knowing" all while practicing moves for ballet class, so she's a fan. even ruth, while in her cave (laundry hamper turned on its side with blanket over it), rotating between her bat costume and skirted lime green swimsuit and shouting "pumpkin pie!" every thirty seconds gives it a very enthusiastic thumbs up. so, even with 80% of technology dead in our home, and charlie throwing everything he can find to the ground, it isn't so hard to feel carefree with images of life on the sea, super secret messages and pumpkin pie on the brain.
* for those who follow the link to the jane, know that chip didn't surprise me with a tiny room with bunk beds (although that would have been ridiculous and hysterical.. and a revisit to our past- on a maiden scouting voyage to new york nearly 9 years ago we visited the jane when it was gritty and cheap and a friend was lodging in one of those tiny tiny rooms until he found an apartment).. we stayed in one of the captain's rooms which was cool and fun, but not without some mysterious weirdness..