We all got a space to fill

The kids’ first day of Passover vacation (which lasts until MAY – which seems impossibly far off). I feel like we kind of hit it out of the park today, and I worry it’s downhill from here.

We didn’t rush to get out of bed today. J made pancakes this morning, because starting tomorrow night, no pancakes – or many other staples – for a week. After J left for work, I tried to motivate the kids to get out of the house early, then realized they weren’t having it, and neither was I, really. We started a building project that Young A suggested, and that somehow turned into Young J suggesting we invent a new game, and so we did! We borrowed a spinner from another game and made up a new one, involving the design of new transit systems. There was a lot of drawing required in the game. It wasn’t always clear whose turn it was. But by the time we needed to leave the house, I had designed a ferry route, Young A, a train route, and Young J, a bus line. It was a lot of fun.

That took us to noon. Then we went to the pizzeria for one last hurrah before the holiday (well… maybe one more tomorrow for lunch) and then hopped the subway to Central Park. There isn’t usually much phone service down there. But there was just enough for me to spot an email saying that Prince might be dead. By the time we came out of the subway, it had been confirmed. I was in the same kind of shock and disbelief I found myself in mid-January when Bowie died. But I was on an outing with the kids, it was a beautiful spring day, the park was a riot of flowers and amusements, and I couldn’t afford the luxury of a breakdown. Here’s  a little photographic sample of the day, which included a carousel ride, a zoo visit, and an encounter with newborn mice at a playground.

Like Bowie, Prince was part of the aural wallpaper of my coming-of-age – ever-present, ubiquitous, dependable. It feels a bit like the wallpaper is being unceremoniously ripped down. I’d post a link or two from YouTube but they seem to get taken down eventually. We have the music. We just won’t get any more of it.

When J got home from work I was demolished, but also determined to get a bike ride in. Biking will be tough for the next week while the kids are out of school, but I’m determined to train regardless. I don’t want to approach June 25 with trepidation – I mean to go in strong, knowing I can do the miles and survive the hills. Yesterday with J, I rode two laps of the park. (The last time I rode three laps, I believe, was in September 2014, the day before my lung biopsy.)

Tonight, I thought of maybe going a bit farther, another half lap with the cut-through by the old Quaker cemetery, but I didn’t want to push it. I enjoyed the beautiful evening, and I sang Prince songs as I went along, until I got to the big hill and was only able to manage a whisper.

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