We took the boys to New York yesterday to see the Statue of Liberty, that beautiful symbol of American freedom. While they enjoyed all the transportation--the train ride into the city, the subway rides about the city, their first ever taxi ride and ferry trip-- we could not have picked a busier day to be in the city. The New Year celebration and unusually warm weather had attracted huge numbers of people. The crowds were so packed in the subways and on the streets that I feared we might lose a child. My heart was in my throat all day long and my nerves suffered some serious fraying. In addition to stress, the crowds created long lines. We waited for our security check before boarding the ferry for no less than two hours.
By the time we witnessed this spectacular view, I felt the words of the American poet, Emma Lazarus, engraved at the foot of the statue in a way I never have before. I felt very much among the "tired" and "tempest-tossed" of that "teeming shore."
After we landed on Liberty Island, took the tour of the museum and climbed all those steps to the top of the statue's pedestal with all the children, I was beginning to feel a little like "wretched refuse" as well. And when we were looking up into the inside of the statue and Simeon decided to go out on the balcony without telling us and we couldn't find him for a bit through the crowds and on account of the narrow passage of the balcony--so very high up off the ground-- I certainly felt among "huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
Ahhhhh....but, alas, it was a beautiful thing to see her "lift her lamp beside the golden door."