This weekend, I took Max to visit Hoboken, NJ, where I lived during my twenties. It's my happy place, because I have such fond memories of going out to restaurants and bars, throwing parties with my roommates in our apartment and rollerblading down Sinatra Drive. Max and I stopped by the Hoboken Fire Department Museum. As it turned out, he had just as much fun exploring my past.
First up, a trip to Planet Mac, a restaurant that specializes in mac 'n cheese. Max was duly impressed. It was not around when I was living there, which is a good thing as I would have gained eleventy billion pounds.
When Max found out that this fire truck is in the local Memorial Day parade, he informed the museum staffer that he would like to be in the parade. Who knows, one of these days I might be able to make his parade fantasy happen.
Of course, there's nothing like visiting an actual fire station. Hoboken has four of them, but Max was surprisingly content to just visit one. As Firefighter Eugene showed us around, Fireman Max had questions: Had there been a fire that day? Was there going to be a fire tomorrow? Was the siren on the truck very loud? Did he drive the truck? Was the truck old or new? Were they going to get a new fire station? Firefighter Eugene answered them all. (No, we don't know, yes, yes, brand new, not for a long time.)
The first apartment I lived in, on the third floor. Surprisingly, there is no commemorative plaque bearing my name.
The building one block away where I bought a condo, also on the third floor. I was five months pregnant with Max when we moved out to the 'burbs.
The last time I roamed around Hoboken, in 2012, I'd felt pangs of sadness about my carefree twenties and not knowing what lay ahead. But this trip was all joy. It was great to have a day alone with Max. His curiosity was exhilarating.
It took a long time for Max to grasp the concept of what today, yesterday and tomorrow mean. Now, he regularly asks about what's happening the following day. He wants to know what I had for dinner the previous night if I went out with Dave. And he is very interested in hearing about my past and his. As we walked around Hoboken, hand in hand, I told him that I lived there with Dave when he was in my belly and then we moved.
Max wanted to know if I had loved Dave when we lived in Hoboken. (Yes.) He wondered where Sabrina was at the time. (Not born yet.) He asked if I liked living in Hoboken better or our current city. (I like them both a lot and someday it would be fun to live in Hoboken again.) (Max would prefer to move to Florida, ideally to Disney World.)
I loved his questions.
I loved that the two of us were having real conversation.
I loved walking around with him on the streets I knew so well, reliving the past, enjoying our present and taking yet more steps toward a bright future.