Yesterday was almost too painful to write about. Peter had an anxiety attack while we were in the mob waiting to get on the Staten Island Ferry. He started pushing me, talking loudly, and then actually lay down on the floor right there among the feet of fifty strangers who were pressed around us. I told him that he and I could wait at the station. Silas and Joseph could ride the ferry and we would stay. But right then the doors opened, Peter got up and we all boarded the ferry. All that time a skinny teenager was playing a Tchaikovsky violin concerto just a few yards away from us, our own personal accompaniment to the family drama.
Peter did fine while we were on the ferry, but then of course everyone has to get off on Staten Island, and wait in the mob again if you want to go back to Manhattan. Peter began to escalate, talking loudly about how we’d never get back. There were too many people. Then he saw the large aquarium the stopped mid-sentence and exclaimed, “Oh, fish!”
So we got through that mob. But Peter was astill on edge. After that lovely ferry ride we headed straight for McDonalds to get some cold drinks and recover. You can’t go wrong with cold drinks and ice cream for the kids, right? But Peter looked at the spoon and said, “I won’t use this spoon! It’s funny!” He threw it on the floor, where it splattered all the ice cream that had been on it.
That’s when I lost it. “Okay Peter,” I said in a snippy voice. “You can either use that spoon, or I’ll eat your ice cream.” I picked the spoon up and began wiping it on a napkin, setting his ice cream in front of me. He decided to use the spoon.
The rest of the family recovered and we walked around lower Manhattan to see Trinity Church and all of the 9-11 area. Pepeter was particularly fascinated with that area since 9-11 has been his big interest for quite a while. The manager of moods, however, (that would be me) was silent and tight-lipped for the rest of the afternoon.
Today we get a rental car and drive to Colombia, Maryland to stay with Silas’s aunt. Part one of our journey is over.