We rush from the bagel shop, paper bag in hand, through the turnstile, and down the staircase to the platform. The train screeches into the station, pushing before it a gust of perfectly dirty air, and you look up at me excitedly and sing "oooooh!". The train is so loud that I can't actually hear your bright voice, but I know your expressions well enough to read your lips. We step on, find a seat, and devour our bagel with cream cheese. When we are done, you want to stand, as you always do. You reach out your hand and repeat, "bar? bar?" until I move close enough to a bar for you to grab ahold. We hold on together, gaze out the window, and ride downtown.
You don't know where we are going, but you are happy just to be going. You always want to move, explore, and run through the city. Sometimes I feel like if we didn't stop once in a while to take a nap or take a picture, you would never stop moving forward.
You also don't know that Mama's hips, which so gracefully hold you up in your sling, sway with you on the moving train, and walk you through the stations and through the city, also hold up the weight of another little person- your little brother who is due to arrive in just 9 days. But until his arrival, Mama's hips belong to you alone, and that is fine with me.
We wave goodbye to our fellow passengers and hop out of the subway car. I climb the stairs to the next platform, where we will wait for our next train. Just as we reach the top of the staircase, I feel your head rest upon my shoulder, and I know that your nap time has come. Your head becomes heavier with the weight of sleep, and I pace the white tiled platform until you fall into slumber, humming to you all the while. I worry for a second that the deep rumbling echoes of passing trains will wake you, but you seem to be soothed by the commotion all around, and burrow further into my shoulder. I will make the last leg of our journey silently, with your Papa at my side, while you rest.
When we finally emerge from the maze of subway tunnels into the bustling streets of downtown, the sun has become slightly dimmer and the air slightly chillier. I do not worry about you, though, as you now have my body heat to stay warm, as I have yours. We stop in to our favorite bakery and then stroll up the avenue, through the park where your Papa and I were wed, and into a dark cozy doorway. However, just a few blocks before we arrive, your head shoots up, you look around, and you give me a kiss. Just in time.
Your Papa and I present you with a cookie as a special treat, and you are the happiest girl in the world. We all pass through the dark doorway into a room of old tables and cushioned chairs. Only two other people are sitting in the room, and they eye us mysteriously. We make our way to the back, and there she is, glowing brightly behind her faded red curtain- a little booth that has become a tradition of ours over the years. Our very favorite photo booth.
Your Papa and I took photos in this booth on our first date. We went back on my birthday a few months later, and then back again, just for fun, many many times. When Nico joined our family, we carried our little puppy into the booth and snapped photos of our "baby". When you were tiny, we took you there too. And now, with Mama's belly being so big and round, we decided to continue the tradition.
Although we no longer live just down the street from here, we still consider this antique photo booth to be "ours". It has seen us grow from wild young things, to a head over heels couple, to a blossoming family. And now it will see you and your brother grow too. Yes, this little photo booth has documented every milestone over the years, and your Papa and I love it dearly. It is our little New York tradition.
This post is the fifth installment of the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries. You can see all previous entries here. I am wearing the Simple Linen Baby Sling in Organic Maple.