We have to hurry home so I can get ready for the party, I say. I have just picked my kids up from school. My hair is wet. I am wearing a pink silk button down shirt and no makeup. Every adult I encounter takes a second look and says, have fun tonight!
Let’s put the presents in the car so you don’t forget them, my daughter says. She and her siblings helped pack and decorate original art of my college fencing team created by a renowned graphic artist. And when the babysitter arrives? I race out the door.
Two days ago, I drove into Manhattan. Called my husband to meet me at the car, and then walked together through the gathering dusk carrying packages and bags to a building I have walked past hundreds of times. And inside? Gasped at the white marble stairway. The soaring glass walls with steps wrapping around them. And when I entered the banquet room? Smiled involuntarily to see a room full of people I adore.
I sat at a table draped in white linen. All around me, people clustered so closely that when honorees approached the stage, we had to shift seats to make room for them to pass. The only way I could make my way to the back of the room for a much-needed bathroom break was by tiptoeing out to the garden that spanned the length of the dimly lit ballroom. When I returned, the room was dark while a movie played on stage. I stood at the back of the room in companionable silence with the coach, waiting for a moment when I could return to my seat. I watched faces unguarded by darkness as they laughed at scenes from the past year.
During memorable moments, I wish for a bottle to capture the scents and sounds that surround me. All too soon, they will vanish as people depart for their various destinations. In the next few months, students will graduate and scatter like petals tossed on the wind to far-flung locations. Much as I would like to, I cannot freeze time. The next best option? Is to return to scenes of the past and imbue them with new meaning.
Kathy Zucker is an international social media Shorty Award winner, mother of three and a startup founder at companies including the Metro Moms Network®.