We Visit Candy Stores With Little Kids

3/12/12 Over the February school vacation, my niece, Laura, came into NYC for a visit, accompanied by her 7 and ½ -year-old son, Ben, and 4 and ½ -year old daughter, Harper. My sister-in-law (Laura’s mom and the loving grandma) took the train up from Lancaster, PA to meet us! The first stop on our daylong fun marathon was Dylan’s Candy Bar on Third Avenue at 60th Street. What was even sweeter than the three floors of every kind of candy you could imagine was the joy in the two kids’ faces when I walked into the store with my daughter, Ariel – their adored and adoring first cousin. Even 50 years ago, when generations of families tended to live close-by, a day with my great-niece and great-nephew, my niece, her mom and my daughter would have been an ordinary thing. But getting all these generations together is  unusual now when people live even only a four-hour-drive apart. So on the one hand, wouldn’t it be wonderful if family members could walk a few blocks and pop in on relatives. But on the other, visits become special and celebratory. I mean, as amazing as Dylan’s is, you generally wouldn’t find me ooo-ing and ahh-ing over all the different kinds and colors of licorice and jellybeans. But Harper and Ben’s surprise and joy was infectious. CANDY!!!! Ariel and I got in the mood and filled a cellophane bag with treats we may not normally eat, but which came highly recommended by the single-digit set. (And I hate to admit it, but we finished every last piece of scrumptiousness before a week was up.) We had a lot more planned for that day, but sharing candy among three generations – well, it’s hard to beat that. Oh, I had forgotten my camera and had to used my iPhone, but even though the picture is a little fuzzy, I mean, can you imagine two happier kids? One more thing: at one point Harper almost slipped, and I said, “oops!” “You sound like my grandma,” Harper said. “Because I said ‘oops,’” I asked. Harper nodded. Please, everyone, tell me that “oops” isn’t something only Baby Boomers say.