Exactly ten years ago – August, 2000 – I took my then 7 year old son Munroe on a mother-son trip to New York City. It was so fun, and something we’d planned and anticipated for months. We took the train from Washington, DC to Penn Station. We stayed in a swanky apartment near the Empire State Building. He put on a blue blazer and a necktie and we went to one and a half Broadway shows (the second show had “way too much dancing” so we sneaked out at intermission). We rode the subway and ate numerous hotdogs loaded with ketchup at Nathan’s.
One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to our friend David Bloom on the Today Show set. Munroe had asked, “When we’re in New York, can we see Mr. Bloom?” See, David and his wife Melanie had twin daughters who were a year ahead of my son in school. We’d gotten friendly, and when David got the Today Show job and they moved to New York, we stayed in touch. I called David and asked if we could come see him – “Sure!” was his response, and he told me where to go and what to do.
2000 was such a different world from 2010. When we got to Rockefeller Plaza that Sunday, Munroe and I simply walked in a side door – no security – and almost right on to the set. A fellow in a headset asked if he could help, we said, “We’re friends of David’s” and were escorted right into the studio. When Munroe caught David’s eye, the affable anchor shot him a wave and at the next commercial break, we were shown around the place.
David was a goof in the best possible sense of the word. He treated Munroe like he was a guest on the show and made him giggle with a bit of silliness. David smiled every time Munroe called him “Mr. Bloom” – I got the sense that David was never “Mr. Bloom” within earshot of the cameramen and electricians in the crew. He delighted in having us there.
Thinking back on that trip makes me realize how much has changed in the past 10 years.
David Bloom died covering the war in Iraq in 2003.
Melanie Bloom has created powerful public awareness about the dangers of deep vein thrombosis – and happily remarried a lovely man who had also been widowed.
I got divorced, became a coach and wrote two books.
Had you asked me in August, 2000, “What will your life be like in August, 2010?” I would have never envisioned this life I have now.
This life I love now.
So, I know this: You cannot predict what the future may hold.
You cannot hold back change.
You don’t know if death or catastrophe will come to you – and you can’t live your life fearful of that possibility.
All you can do – all you need to do – is get the most out of who you are, where you are.
Take your kid on a trip. Call up a friend. Enjoy your life. Giggle.
Because who knows what the world will look like in 2020.