The older child made a request: Please bring me my ukulele. And a coffee maker. And coffee.
The ukulele, I could see. When one is spending the month at a precollege program, sleeping in the dorms and sitting in class all day, a young man needs his ukulele.
But the coffee maker? In New York City, where there’s a coffee shop on every block and a Starbucks next door trying to put them out of business?
But the coffee maker had already been purchased by his other parent, as had a can of Chock Full o’ Nuts about the size typically bought for a three-month crabbing trip off the coast of Alaska.
I was going into the city anyway, you see, to a meeting just 9 blocks away. (By way of two other meetings, with one way uptown.)
Yes to the coffee maker, but not to the “Deadliest Catch” coffee supply. (See above: Starbucks.) And yes, to the ukulele.
When I finally got the coffee maker and the ukulele to the kid, his classmate–an out-of-towner–said, “That ukulele has seen more of this city than I have.”
The next day, upon my return to New York City, I kept panicking and whipping around to see what I’d left behind. Surely, I was missing something. My bag felt too light. Then I’d remember that it was no longer Bring Your Son’s Coffee Maker and the Ukulele to Work Day. Also, that he can bring them home.