Innocents in NYC

Major Knitter wrote Saturday of attending the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.  I have only waved to that marquee in passing, but there is a story to tell about that.

DH was working in New Jersey on a two-year assignment with his mega-employer.  As if that weren’t enough upheaval for a family of 5, they decided on short notice that his expertise was needed in England.  The U. S. government does nothing on short notice, my friends, and none of us had passports.   A personal appearance application at our “local” passport office was the only hope, and that office was located in Rockefeller Center, NYC.

Our youngest, a preschool girl, was not required to appear in person.  The government, in its wisdom, decreed that if we presented her birth certificate and photograph and swore, under penalty of death, that we had this child, they would issue her passport.  The high school daughters, DH and I gathered our papers and rode the employer’s commuter van to NYC one early workday.  Their office was only a block or so away from Rockefeller center, so we did the “tourist walk” (head on swivel at the scenery) to the passport office.

The application process was uneventful, despite my fears.  You see, our oldest daughter was adopted.  To put it mildly, she looks nothing like us.  Yet her birth certificate lists DH and me as parents.  The challenge I worried about never came – I guess NYC is used to all sorts of variations.

After an hour and a half, much of which was devoted to waiting our turn, we were out on the street, with the rest of the work day to spend until the commuter van returned to NJ.  DH and I decided to walk up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  There was park on our left, and skyscrapers on our right.  I was trying to explain to the daughters about penthouses, with trees and swimming pools, etc, on top of these buildings.  I got the “Oh, Mother!” response.

Then a jogger approached.  I recognized her, but didn’t want to be a tourist about it.  After she passed us, I said to the girls “Wasn’t it neat to see Yoko Ono?”

“Where?” they replied.  Ah, such is the life of a mother!


  1. Jennifer said,

    December 1, 2008 at 6:46 am

    I love New York! These are the best kind of stories.

  2. Debby said,

    December 1, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    I haven’t been to NY in a bit, though it’s only 1 1/2 hrs away, but it is positively magical at Christmas time. So glad you and your family have such fun memories of it!

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