LEORA “How to make an Ice Cream Sundae”
“Leora’s coming” would generate a ripple of excitement for my brother and I when we were young and our Granny Jean would share the news. We were obsessed with our Boston cousins when we were little (particularly me) and as Leora was the oldest of the three girls she was the most revered.
The daughter of our beloved Uncle Ronnie from America (we were living in South Africa at the time and, believe it or not, had another Uncle Ronnie living in Johannesberg), Leora to me was the coolest person in town. She sent little cards in the mail with stickers on them (“Lonelle is so cute and small, here is a little note for her”) that my mother kept in a photo album and let me see through the plastic.
When we moved to Toronto, it was even more apparent how cool Leora was. She had by then made the move to New York and was working as an agent in the movie business. One time, she took us to the mall and didn’t even bother doing up the laces on her boots; she was so laissez faire about everything. Brett and I were astonished and a bit ashamed of our zipped up coats and velcro’d snowboots. Those were obviously the pre-mom years since I’ve noted that her girls are very well turned out–I bet their shoes are triple-tied.
The first time I went to visit Leora in New York when I was 18 she let me (content blocked for confidentiality), we went to get our hair blown out and ate blueberries and yogurt for breakfast every day. I went home lbs lighter and sans a Jewish fro. It was a revelation and an impressive one: I was always more put together after that.
Years later, I went again and found myself sitting on the penthouse balcony of a highrise on the Upper East Side in the wee hours, my feet hanging off the edge over the roof looking out at the city. It was a beautiful scene, the view imprinted on my heart, it cemented the love I have for New York.
This past summer, when I was pregnant with you, she told me not to worry. She told me the words to say to guide you into the world and how incredible you were going to be when you got here. I knew she was right then, but now I really know. You are more incredible than she could even describe and I wouldn’t have known how to understand it then if she could.
Leora loves you little guy. She is special like you’re special. A golden child of her mom and dad just like you’re a golden child to us.
She wanted to teach you how to love your family, but I told her it wouldn’t be tangible in a video, plus I plan to give you that lesson in real life–but if you want to learn it again from Leora, you’re welcome to ask if you can go visit her in New York when you’re old enough and then you can see it in action.
In the meantime, you should trust Leora’s instincts on how to make the best damn ice cream sundae in Manhattan.