Thursday, March 4, 2010

Goodbye, Funarama

Anyone who grew up going to New Hampshire's Hampton Beach as a kid probably spent hours and hours - and a good deal of their parents' quarters- at Funarama, right on the boardwalk. The place was classic, with everything you'd expect at a great arcade: skee-ball, air hockey, vintage photo booths and video games. One summer years ago my family rented a big old house on L Street for two weeks with my aunts and uncles. Almost every night after supper, my sister, cousins and I would head down to the arcade, using our skee-ball skills to earn tickets that we traded in for friendship bracelets and pencil erasers. Simple, innocent fun.
Last week, in the early morning hours of February 26, a five-alarm fire destroyed Funarama and the entire block it sat on. The blaze began in a nearby, 60-year-old hotel. The building had no sprinkler system, and the fire spread quickly with the help of hurricane-force winds. No one was hurt, but a piece of my childhood was gone forever.
Reading the news articles brought tears to my eyes. I hadn't been to Funarama in ages, but I loved that place. I had taken for granted that it would always be there, just as it had been for decades, one of those places to which you felt you could always return.
Events like this one always remind me to cherish each and every experience and each and every person in my life. Because so often, places and people can disappear quickly and without warning, leaving behind only memories. Now, I'm glad I saved a strip of photos from one of the arcades' booths. My cousin and I, fresh off the beach in our bathing suits and sunglasses, cheeks freckly from sunshine.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hello again, Blog!

Wow. What a whirlwind year it's been! Weeks after publishing my last post, my husband and I discovered we were expecting our first baby, and everything changed. After months of agonizing back-and-forth, Jake and I decided to pack up and leave Boston, just one year after moving there. With our daughter on the way, I wanted to be closer to my family, and Jake wanted out of our rowdy Brighton neighborhood, where getting woken up at 3 a.m. by drunken Boston College frat boys was a nightly occurrence. So, after endless discussions, we chose to move in with my parents 95 miles away in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. The idea comforted me; I knew nothing about babies, while my mother is the best mother I've ever met. I felt safer stepping into the unknown with her by my side.

After the hectic scramble of moving out of our apartment and figuring out where we were going to store pretty much all of our belongings, the two (soon to be three) of us settled in to my parents' apartment in August '09 and began waiting for our baby girl to arrive. After weeks of feeling like a ticking time bomb, I gave birth to Mia Serafina on October 10, which was simultaneously the most unbelievably difficult and most unbelievably wonderful thing I've ever done.

Mia is now nearly five months old, and I finally feel like I have adjusted to my new life, so much so that I can now resurrect this blog. In the early months, it was all I could do to get through each day without feeling so overwhelmed that I hid under the covers. I always thought, pre-newborn, that I knew what it was like to feel exhausted. I realize now that I never knew the true meaning of the word. Which, as it turns out, has given me a whole new respect for single parents and parents of multiples. I honestly don't know how they get through those first weeks. Things are much easier now, and a lot more fun.

So here I sit in Rocky Hill, happily ensconced in motherhood and looking forward to each new day with my beautiful daughter. Let the blogging begin...again.