My husband and I met in 2001 in my first college class. By “met” I mean, he walked in late in an over-sized hockey jersey—blue eyes sparkling and sarcasm flying. I was already seated, quietly, with a fresh notebook open and pen ready for note taking. It should have been obvious from that very first second that we couldn’t be more different, but he looked like trouble and I immediately decided it was the kind of trouble I was looking for.
At first, I meant it in a broad sense. I had a boyfriend at the time, but my friend and I agreed that Tim was the perfect crush to serve as a distraction from tedious lectures and awkward professors. We knighted him with a nickname and the seeds of obsession were planted.
It’s pretty safe to say that neither of us would have guessed that within five years we’d be raising a newborn in a basement apartment in the Bronx. Life is kind of interesting that way.
Thrirteen years later (um, that just made me feel old) we went back—this time with our two daughters in tow. It was kind of like entering the Twilight Zone.
The Big Apple Circus (you know, where I got all anxious and neurotic a few weeks ago?) just so happens to be at Lincoln Center, which is also home to the Fordham University campus where we met. We decided to take the train into Manhattan early, grab lunch and take the girls to some of the places we frequented during the college years.
It was so strange.
First we stopped in at the Olympic Flame Diner on 60th and 10th, a place where I grabbed many quick lunches between classes (I was a commuter) and where my husband probably tried to cure many a hangover. Afterwards, we took them over to the school to explore inside a little.
Let me tell you, it’s like two strange universes colliding when you’re walking through the halls of your college (where you stalked your husband before dating him) with your two kids. Two very different versions of yourself are smushed together and you’re left wondering how did I get here? Who am I?!
Luckily, with two hyped up kids there was no time to sink into some sort of existential crisis. Instead, we shot each other freaked out looks over our daughters’ heads as we showed them around: where daddy’s dorm was, the place he played acoustic shows in, where we took classes and bought our books.
Their favorite part was most definitely the courtyard, which is a gorgeous splot of greenery and sculptures plopped right in the middle of Manhattan.
Before heading to the circus, we stopped in at the Starbucks my husband used to work at for another little dose of nostalgia. We sat in the window people watching while the girls had chocolate milk and a cookie and I couldn’t help but be amazed at just how far we’ve come in what feels like the blink of an eye.