I'm writing this post from Madison's rented room in the Upper West Side in Manhattan. It's like a dorm, tiny . . . with a heavy, square desk and a twin bed lifted up on risers -- two small dressers stashed underneath. When we got off the plane yesterday, we took a taxi from LaGuardia to this new room -- both of us a little jittery .
Our cab driver was a friendly man from Senegal. He picked up on Maddie's nervous excitement. He told her this was a great place for kids to learn to be on their own. "Be smart. Be careful. You will be fine," he repeated from the front as he sped through Harlem. I gulped. I wouldn't even let Maddie ride her bike around our suburban neighborhood alone, but now I was going to leave her all by herself in this honking, graffitied mass of people?
I suppose I am.
Her room is hot -- no air conditioning. Where we come from the words 'AC' and 'no' NEVER EVER go together. Today we trudged down to PC Richard & Sons on Broadway and 86th and bought a window unit. After we paid Maddie stood out in the rain trying to hail a cab. I stood back with the air conditioner. The guy who sold it to us watched the whole thing. Under his breath he murmured, "Don't worry. She'll get it."
I know. Keep telling me that.