This is how the Cowfam felt about being back in Brooklyn. You guys, I can't even find the words. But I'll ramble on about it and maybe you'll get some idea...
Walking along a sun-drenched, brownstone-lined sidewalk, listening to the birds and the rumble of the subway, strolling while people around us rushed, familiar sights, familiar people, familiar sounds, familiar life. It was a homecoming. It surprises me how much this town is home to me. I lived there for only two years...two measly years well into adulthood...but Brooklyn feels more like home to me than any other place I've lived. Crazy, I know. Love. I am in love.
I suppose in some ways those two years were formative years. I brought my teeny tiny three month old baby to Brooklyn, and left with a two year old toddler. I settled into mommyhood there. Every corner of Carroll Gardens holds a memory. Walks to the laundromat, to the grocery store, to the gym, to music class, to friend's houses. Ralph pooped on every block. We've scored free stuff on most of them. It feels like mine. My park. My subway stop. My bagel place. My neighbours.
We stopped by to see one of our neighbours. But not before we were stopped by the "laundry ladies" that spotted us out the window. Walking by, a year after we left, they ran out to greet us. Our 85 year old neighbour Anna called her friend after ushering us inside, gushing "You'll NEVER GUESS who's here!!!" She made her "real Italian coffee" for me, and pressed $5 into my hand to buy E an ice cream cone.
We went to see a concert given by E's old music teacher Karen. She ducked out of rehearsing to give us both a big squeeze. We bought more of her CDs to give to our new friends in Ottawa.
We were lucky enough to be back just in time to see E's best friend Anabelle and her parents before they move to Chicago next month. Together the girls that could be twins claimed Brooklyn as their own, as their moms watched in awe, laughing at how we still always manage to dress them the same.
The "twins" reunite...and get manicures!
I went on this trip worried that E, who has recently been expressing a fairly strong desire to move back to Brooklyn, would have a hard time when it came time to leave again. Instead, it's her mom who took it the hardest. Given the opportunity, and the finances to afford luxuries like en-suite laundry and a backyard, I have come to realize that I would move back in a heartbeat.
We have been in Ottawa a year and, while I really enjoy being here and feel that it has everything we need, it doesn't yet feel like home. We have another four years to go, and it's quite likely that at the end of it I will feel differently, but I find it hard to believe that I will ever feel about a place the way I felt last weekend.