A Brooklyn goodbye

I never loved Brooklyn the way you're supposed to. I love the park -- truly a slice of perfection in this city -- but Brooklyn itself, its rhythms and noises, just never felt like home to me. And I've moved before, from apartments I've loved and some I've hated, from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing bodegas and drugstores every two years. But we're moving next week, and this move is different. It's permanent. 

Around the corner from our almost-former place. 

Around the corner from our almost-former place. 

Tonight I sat on the floor of my toddler's bedroom (this is a Thing we have to do now to get her to go to sleep occasionally) and stayed there, not making eye contact with her, for ten minutes. Ten minutes is a long time to sit silently with no phone or entertainment. So I thought about all the things I will miss about this place, about Brooklyn. 

This is the apartment where I labored on the living room floor, knowing it was too early to go to the hospital but demanding we go anyway. This is the apartment where I brought my baby home, where she learned to roll over and sit up and toddle and walk and talk. ("Let's GO! is a favorite refrain.) And now it's time to leave it behind. 

The closing of a house, the organizing of minor construction and painting and cleaning, the finding of daycares and pediatricians, the bills and bookings and phone calls -- all of it means every day has brought with it a full checklist of things to do, the kind of days that keep you up at night. So the leaving itself snuck up on me. But here we are, just a few days away, and already some goodbyes have happened without my acknowledging them.

Today I finally starting counting things off: my last commute on the F train, my last trip to the coffee shop around the corner, my last days with a New York license. Last, final, done. 

But next week starts all the firsts.