Stay-at-Home Mom by
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Stay-at-Home Mom

I was a young stay-at-home mom when we moved to Manhattan with our 9-month-old baby boy – a perfect confluence of time,  place,  and circumstance!   (See Aruba NightsChagall’s Cows,  The Alphabet Wall,  and Reading with Hattie, and Baking with Julia)

In those early years Noah and I spent lots of time in the Carl Schurz Park playground,   the Central Park Zoo and the library,   and making the rounds of birthday parties and play dates and a myriad of children’s activities at the museums and elsewhere around the city.

And as every parent knows,  seeing the world through a child’s eyes can make even workaday chores a big adventure.   Walking through our eastside neighborhood we might see giant cranes reaching up to the sky,  and noisy Con Ed workers digging down under the street,   and dog walkers with canines on leashes in every size and shape!

And of course all those busy New Yorkers hurrying by,   and fire engines and police cars and ambulances speeding past with sirens blaring.   And then more adventures and things to see when Noah turned three and we rode the bus together to his midtown nursery school.

Our neighborhood even had a department store then,  Gimbel’s on Lexington Ave and 86th Street,   where you could buy almost everything you needed to furnish a home and clothe a family.   And indeed a trip to Gimbel’s was always an adventure with a toy department to explore,  escalators to ride,  and even a kid-friendly cafe in the basement.

Then all too soon Noah started kindergarten,   I went back to work,  and that very special chapter in my life came to an end.   In the late 1980s Gimbel’s closed all it’s stores and now on the corner of Lex and 86th there’s a Best Buy and a luxury co-op.

But I really miss that old Gimbel’s,  and I miss that young stay-at-home mom and her sweet baby boy.

– Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Parenthood, Parenting


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    I agree, Dana. Living in the a city with a youngster (we were in Boston when David was born, and, reluctantly for me, moved out when he was 9 months old) is a great adventure and you certainly made the most of it with Noah while you could. Those are beautiful photos that you’ve posted. But yes, cities and circumstances change, Noah grew up and you went back to a job you loved. And so it goes…

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    Love those pictures, Dana. And I agree that staying home with a young child is a magical time in life.

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    The pictures are wonderful, and it sounds as if you were able to enjoy some very special years with Noah. I’m sure he loved it too. I imagine every stay at home parent would like their experience to be just like that. Precious memories indeed.

  4. You paint such a vivid picture, Dee…I especially love the cranes reaching up and the Con Ed workers digging down. Add some illustrations and it could be a children’s book! Now, there’s an idea…maybe contrasting the life of a rural mom with a big city mom. A gem of a story!

  5. Whoops! I know what happened to Gimbel’s — and NYC in general — but what happened to that baby boy at the top of the post? And who’s the handsome, grinning giant in the Dalton sweatshirt?

  6. Suzy says:

    Fun story, Dana. I agree with Barb, it could easily be turned into a wonderful children’s book!

  7. John Shutkin says:

    A beautiful story, Dana, with beautiful photos. Thank you for reminding us that being a stay-at-home parent, even if often underappreciated and not a matter of choice, can be a wonderful experience. Yours sounds like it truly was.

    Also, right after law school in 1974 and for the next six years, my wife and I lived at 86th and York Avenue, so I certainly remember that Gimbel’s. Though my main recollection of Gimbel’s is from all the “custom reupholstery” commercials it used to run on TV.

  8. Marian says:

    What a sweet story, Dana. I think if I’d had a child I’d want to be in a city as well. Really fun adventures to read.

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