Wanting to spend a little mommy/daughter time with my youngest daughter, I planned a mini “wecation” for us to wonderful New York City. Having Gabby stuck in the car with me for 7 plus hours was just as exciting as everything we did while we were in New York…at least for me! I had a chance to laugh, sing, and just talk to her without interruption. Gabby, on the other hand, saw this as a form of torture because this was 7 plus hours with no access to wi-fi and thus no Fortnite!
I chose New York City for our “wecation” because on this particular weekend the Documentary Film Festival (DOC NYC) would be showing “While I Breathe, I Hope”. This documentary basically followed Bakari Sellers through his run for Lieutenant Governor in South Carolina. Finding his candid opinions on CNN refreshing, I had begun to look at who this young man was and even featured him on “Man POWER Monday”. So, an opportunity to see a documentary about him with my little one seemed perfect.
Realizing that the Documentary Film Festival had so much to offer I began scrolling through the other films that would be shown throughout the weekend and decided to also check out “The 5 Browns: Digging Through the Darkness”. I became intrigued by the 5 Browns some years ago after seeing a story about all of these siblings being accepted at Juilliard because of their incredible talent as pianists. Over the years I lost track of the siblings so I was excited to have an opportunity to reacquaint myself with them at DOC NYC. While the film was a gut wrenching story about sexual abuse, it was also uplifting because it showed how the siblings triumphed, despite abuse at the hands of their parents, through their music. If you have never seen the siblings play together you must do so!
Knowing that I could spend my weekend going from documentary to documentary I had to remind myself that this was a “wecation” with my 10 year old, not a “mecation”. I knew that I would be pushing it with her if I dared suggest we see another documentary. So, after our two films we headed back to Rockefeller Center so that Gabby could ice skate as I cheered her on. After about two rounds of hugging the rail for dear life I saw her come around with a group of girls she met on the ice. Now united, they hung in there together until Gabby gained the confidence to shoot across the center of the rink!
During my pre-trip planning I decided I would take Gabby to see The Lion King on Broadway. I figured the music, dancing and beautiful costumes would mesmerize her. Fortunately before I purchased the tickets I came across the play, American Son. I immediately knew we would not be in the audience watching Simba dance across the stage during this trip. There was absolutely no way I was going to pass up the opportunity for us to see Kerry Washington on the stage. This 90-minute play kept me on the edge of my seat as I held my breath and held back tears. When it finally ended I could hear everyone around me exhale. As I looked around trying to read the expression of others, I caught the eye of another African-American woman. We simply smiled at one another as a white male seated in front of me correctly kept describing the play as intense.
Okay, okay, I admit, I had a selfish mom moment. After sitting through Lion King two times already with my other children, I honestly did not want to do it again. Fortunately, Gabby didn’t want to either.
If you want something that will show you the perspective of many on the issue of race this play is a must see. It also helped to reinforce for me that we must be willing to have an open dialogue if we are truly to unite as a country.
Of course our trip to New York would not be complete if we did not spend time just hanging out around Times Square. Walking around Times Square with no particular destination in mind is such a wonderful experience within itself because the energy of the city is palpable.
I highly recommend a “wecation” to New York City if you are looking for an opportunity to have some bonding time with your children. I did it several years ago with my now college sophomore and we had just as much fun as Gabby and I did on this trip. Might I also suggest that you take one child at a time. I have found that my girls appreciate the one on one time…and, so do I.
Some things I learned about Gabby during our “wecation”:
- She still hates shopping for clothes. I took her to Macy’s in Herald Square and she was underwhelmed until she spotted the Gucci and Louis Vuitton stores. Unfortunately her budget only allowed her to dream about owning anything in either shop.
- She will eat vegan if you do not tell her it is vegan. After tasting my buffalo cauliflower dish at Blossom du Jour she realized she liked it and consumed about 1/2 of my lunch before I took her to get Pizza.
- She might be reluctant to try new things but if I gently encourage her she will give it a go.
- She is addicted to Fortnite. While she had a wonderful weekend, she was quite happy to return to her Fortnite cave (her bedroom) and reunite with her Fortnite Clan!
- She is BLOSSOMING AND I WANT TO BE PRESENT AND ENJOY WATCHING HER GROW INTO THE WOMAN SHE WILL BECOME ONE DAY!
I am always looking for places to go! If you have any suggestions please share them in the comment section below!