Fear Factor

Yesterday I faced my fears and traveled via public transit to NYC with 2 year old in tow. When I usually go into he city by myself I walk around guns blazed, full confidence no one can get in my way. However, after I had my daughter I haven’t traveled with the same confidence. In fact, I haven’t really traveled at all so I was determined to meet my husband at work. I figured I only had to make a one-way trip alone, since he’d come with me on the way home. Our trip began on the bus. This would be simple enough since Ali and I have taken the bus a few blocks before. Well the “in town” bus driver is much different from the city bound driver. I folded up the stroller and got on but before I could pay this driver hit the road. I had no idea what to do. I wasn’t about to leave Ali alone in a seat with the bus moving so I could go pay. What was this driver thinking? Finally she stopped at a red light and I was able to pay my way. Good thing Ali was within arms reach, I was able to stretch my body to the limits to ensure I had one toe on Ali in the seat and my hands free put the money in the machine, the stroller had to fend for itself.
We made it to the port authority and now it was time to hit the dreaded subway. I strapped Ali into the stroller nice and tight. My father once told me the port authority was where kidnappers waited for kids who ran away into the city. I think this was supposed to make me fear running away, unfortunately I just fear bus stations. Of course the subway is 2 flights downstairs so I had to wander around in my personal nightmare to find an elevator, all the while making sure kidnappers aren’t following us. We found the elevator and thankfully there was another couple with a baby already riding so I didn’t have to ride alone. We made it to the subway and somehow braved the underground 3,000-degree heat. Ali was excited when our train came; I was excited for air conditioning.
We made it to our stop and I'm confronted with a fear I never knew I had: escalators. I’m not talking about a normal one-story 45-degree escalator; I’m talking about 53rd and Lexington. It’s about 5 stories and probably rises at 85 degrees. I almost hyperventilated, but the only way out was up. I kept Ali in the stroller because I knew once I got onto the death machine I wouldn’t physically be able to move so she needed to be immobile as well. I said my prayers and rolled on. I ended up taking 5 steps in an extreme forward lunge to try to lessen the rising angle. I stared at my feet for the 5-minute ride because looking up made me dizzy and looking down made me vomit. We finally made it to the top and when we saw daylight again I was a new woman. I have conquered the NYC transit with Ali. Nothing can stop me now! (except the movie Poltergeist … don’t ask).