I’m going on a family vacation today — not to the Bahamas or Italy but to the heart of it all — hanging out with my kids in New York City. I’ll arrive at Brook’s new digs, which she and her boyfriend moved into last fall, at midnight EST.
“Mom, I know you’ll want to talk,” Brook told me, and made a lively gesture with her hands, but it’ll be late for them. All I have to do is see my lovely grown-up daughter and I’m on vacation.
The same goes for Ethan, whom I’ll see tomorrow. He’ll probably make that lively, wavy gesture too, and ask, “What do you want to do, mom?” And we’ll be off: I want to bicycle around that new Upper West Side bike path, walk that former train station hi-rise park, stroll through the giant exhibit on the human brain at the Museum of Natural History, maybe take in a fun off-Broadway play, engage in a Big Apple eatathon, but way more important, just gaze at the incredibly beautiful faces of my two children.
The rest of our small Wilensky family will join us over the weekend. My brother and his wife will come in from the Boston area. We’ll all get together with at least one of their daughters and my two adorable, super-sharp, smiley great-nieces. That’s it for my birth family.
I’ve vowed to myself to see my kids at least three times a year. I haven’t seen my brother in around two years, but he’s so funny. He calls me every week; once when I lamented not seeing him often enough, he said, “I have a picture of you in my office. I know what you look like.”
Here in Tucson, I have Dan and his family. I have a huge family of friends all around the country.
For those of you in Tucson, I recommend hearing UA President Emeritus Peter Likins talk about his unusual family at the UA Bookstore in the Student Union today from 5-6:30. I organized a panel, “Parenting Memoirs: From Maine to California” at the recent Tucson Festival of Books, which Pete participated in. His story of adopting six children of various racial and ethnic backgrounds, with his wife, Pat, is as moving in person as it is in his new book, “A New American Family: A Love Story” (UA Press).
Wherever your family is, cherish it. I sure do.