Monday, November 17, 2014

Across an ocean

Lower Manhattan + Freedom Tower  |  Across an ocean on afeathery*nest  |

My family (both by birth and by love) has a thing for showing up unexpectedly.

Like my parents and brother showing up at my university to help me celebrate my 21st birthday (at a surprise dinner party they organized with my roommates). Or those same roommates and I plotting with our other roommates’ parents to stage the most ridiculous reunion party with her friends and family from around the state (and neighboring ones!) for her birthday.

Or like me flying to LA from NYC (where I had a summer internship) to wait in a hotel lobby for my mom’s arrival from Virginia for a work trip, then sneak up behind her while she checked in to surprise (scare) her.

Or R traveling for 24 hours in a linen suit from Sicily to New York and walking into the restaurant where I was celebrating my birthday in the Meatpacking District with my parents, my brother, and my cousins with the hugest of smiles and not one single wrinkle (I’ll never know how Italians do it).

Then of course I reciprocated by flying to Sicily one cold week in February a few days after getting a ridiculous flight deal from Alitalia in my inbox and walking into his business while he was on the phone with his mom (who was in on it).

We like nothing more than pulling off crazy cross-country, cross-oceanic surprises and then bursting into blubbering heaves when we see each others’ faces.

But I just may have pulled off the best one yet—I flew, unbeknownst to anyone, from Stockholm to NYC this weekend so I could be there to celebrate my darling nephew / godson’s first birthday (and lucky me, Thanksgiving isn’t too far away, either).

My plan was not to tell anyone at all and just show up at the birthday party where essentially all of my American family (since most live in the Tri-state area around New York) would be gathered. My first homecoming, perfectly timed to celebrate the little boy who I was there to greet in the hospital on the day he came into this world and into our lives and who has not stopped making me smile and laugh with his adorable expressions, his mischievous personality, and his inquisitive, thoughtful stare, all of which I’ve been able to see develop and change week by week even after we left the US, thanks to his video and photo-adept taking grandparents and video-chatting parents.

Apparently my family knows me quite well, though, as my brother's non-teary response to seeing me walk unexpectedly into his apartment was, "I knew you'd come."

And he was right—there’s nothing that would have kept me from being here and holding my nephew in my arms and tickling his chubby little thighs to coax out one of his sweet gurgling laughs. Even if he won’t remember the day, and probably didn’t even really recognize me when I walked in, I’ll remember it and always know that not even an ocean could keep me away from being with him on his very first birthday.

One year ago: Craving a cozy cappuccino
Two years ago: Today's trio & Good things right now & Happy makers


  1. This just makes me so freaking happy. And FB's response, even more so. I love.

  2. Aww, thanks so much, dear!
    Big kiss. Xx <3

  3. yey! sweet! i have a cousin that does that. he calls during a party and says oh hi... have a great party wish i was there! blabla then door bell rings and there he is!

  4. Ha, that cousin of yours and I would get along quite well! :) Xx


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