We arrived in Nyack three weeks ago. (I know this because we got our first Pfizer doses the very next day, and tomorrow is my second.) We got out of the car and momentously lowered a barefoot Finias to the ground for his first steps on American soil. Taavi recognized the place immediately and has been recognizing more aspects of it ever since, including the Montessori school down the street where he had just started four days before everything started closing. This week he started at summer camp there. It’s been unquestionably terrific for him, and for us.

Upon arrival, the house was in good enough shape (thanks to two brothers-in-law) that we could safely land the kids’ bedtime. A few days later we were mostly time-adjusted, Bekki had removed most of the remnants of long-term mouse habitation, and we were starting to get organized and settled. I had a few client obligations at the end of the week and was able to meet them, if a bit groggily.

Returning to the house meant returning to visual reminders of the mental state we’d been in when we left it: nervous about nearly everything — including the health of the baby-to-be and our chances of being able to fly — and frantically collecting supporting documents and packing for what would surely be one of the last flights out for quite some time. I’ve heard from more than one person that our story sounded like a movie script. It might have felt more like one if we’d had any room left over for more feelings.

Driving Taavi around Rockland County for his first nap brought me back, too. Near my sister’s house, where we would be seeing them outside for Shabbat the following day. Near the place we got the fetal MRI. Near the house where Taavi was a baby and where we said goodbye to Haskell. Past a bunch of favorite places in Nyack. Later, we walked past a bunch more on our way to the park.

For the first few days, Taavi sometimes said he wanted to fly by himself back to Germany. As expected, that was quickly over with. He says hello to strangers on the street, delighted that they speak English. We went to the donut shop for the first time in 15 months (not counting the dozens of times we went there in Google Street View) and he ordered his donut himself. It worked out in his favor.

Most of the worries we brought with us to Germany are gone now, replaced by new ones. Finias joined us and he’s sweet and opinionated and picking up new skills by the day. And my sister, the doctor at a huge teaching hospital in the Bronx, made it through. She and her kids dropped by for ice cream this afternoon. No big deal. We’re here. And yesterday our parents drove away from the house we grew up in. Tomorrow, sometime after I get my second shot, they’ll arrive at their new home across the river from us. The last time I hugged them was for their 50th anniversary in fall 2019. The next time — and the first time they hug Finias — is close at hand.

A couple months from now we’ll be back in Germany for another year, this time more premeditated. Meanwhile, no moments to take for granted, and lots to take care of while we’re here. High on the list: regular piano workouts.


What’s this?

It’s a /now page.

nownownow.com is a directory of people with /now pages. I’m listed there.

Posted June 23, 2021 at 09:11:34 PM EDT Tags:

See also: /purpose.