four summers in brooklyn.

June 23, 2014

roses When I was pregnant with Faye, I didn’t know if she would be a girl or a boy, or when precisely she would arrive, but I knew that when she finally came, there would be roses in the neighborhood to greet her. There would be the pale pink roses that cascade over the black fence near our old apartment, the red roses that hang in heavy festoons off the front porch of the clapboarded house on Joralemon, the single neon rose that pushes up next to an old air conditioning unit down the street, the wild roses that emerge from a tangle of thorns around the corner. Junebug’s roses, I called them.

A week ago, when my parents were in town, James and I (and tiny Faye) took a long walk with them around the neighborhood. It was the kind of amble whose route was dicated more by the particular slant of the dappled sunlight on one corner or another than by any real destination. We chatted as we walked; my mom sang to Faye; my dad mused about real estate prices. I forced myself to walk at a pace more nearly aligned with the desires of my body than my brain. We gawked at rose bushes.

Eventually we wound our way around to the ice cream truck that sits at one of the Promenade entrances, tempting tourists and neighborhood regulars with its perfect swirls of vanilla soft-serve and rainbow sprinkles. When he saw us, the driver smiled at James and asked after Faye.

“How many weeks, now?”

“Almost three,” James replied, lifting her bonnet to reveal a milky pout between flushed cheeks. She snorted her hello.

This is our fourth summer in Brooklyn. It’s the longest that James and I have lived in one city together and while we don’t know how long we’ll stay, it’s nice to think that we fit into the rhythm of the place. Because knowing the roses, like knowing the ice cream man, is the stuff that belonging is made of.

Welcome to your neighborhood, Faye-girl.

roses roses roses

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21 Comments

  • Reply Daniella C June 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Oh those yellow ones are gorgeous! Ours are just starting to bloom. Such a classic summer sight!

  • Reply ariana June 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I love this. What a worthwhile observation and conversation–knowing your neighborhood, your spaces, and belonging.

  • Reply Roxanne June 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    This is so beautifully written! One day Faye will just love reading this! xo

  • Reply Nina June 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    So beautiful, as always.

  • Reply Kim B. June 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Simply lovely.

  • Reply Evelyn June 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Seriously beautiful images and word pictures. Thanks for sharing your joy to belong.

  • Reply bymarion June 23, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    What a peaceful rhythm in your words! How poetic, how beautifully written!

  • Reply Jacquelyn Clark June 23, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Motherhood suits you. I can sense your peacefulness and joy! Beautiful post my dear.

  • Reply Erin Oliver June 23, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    I was actually just in Brooklyn yesterday (I've only ever been three times, despite growing up in Manhattan and Westchester) and took in all the roses and other June flowers. It seems like such a lovely place to live…I really want to make it out there so much more than I have!

  • Reply Sarah Noel June 23, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Erin, this is so lovely. Such a perfect way to describe the feeling of home. We've just moved to Brooklyn–my husband and I and our two little girls. I'm looking forward to these feelings for our family in this place too.

  • Reply Kayla Poole June 24, 2014 at 2:10 am

    What a vision you've painted here! Happy four, (and many more, wherever they might lead you!).

  • Reply Danielle E. Alvarez June 24, 2014 at 2:52 am

    Just beautiful. xo

  • Reply cherre henderson June 24, 2014 at 3:58 am

    What pretty pictures and a very cute story, I enjoyed it.

  • Reply Maja June 24, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Knowing the ice cream man is crucial, in any place!!!

  • Reply DontBlameTheKids June 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    This was lovely. I feel the same way about my neighborhood in Washington, but this is our first summer here. I hope we have several more.

  • Reply liv June 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Just lovely- Congratulations from a long-time admirer. What a sweet little world you've made for yourselves and the new Miss Faye.

  • Reply caitlin June 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    So, so sweet and lovely.

  • Reply Samantha Cabrera June 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    So lovely and thoughtful, sweet mama! xx

  • Reply Lissa Snapp June 25, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    So sweet! I know there is nothing more special then having community around when the babe arrives. I often took our community for granted but once Owynn arrived I realized how amazing it was to have the person making my coffee or buying my groceries from acknowledge me and the little one. Happy Summer, sounds like it has arrived on the east coast!

  • Reply Sarah June 26, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Beautiful photos and such lovely words. 🙂 This post warmed my heart. xoxo

  • Reply Loribeth Tanner July 1, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I really long for that familiarity with a place and the people in it again.

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