What is it about parents that they think because they enjoyed something in their youth (that’s me in NYC in the top left photo), that their children (that’s my daughter, right, in the same place years later) will be just as thrilled about doing the same thing? I am one of those parents. My 14-year-old daughter Grace got to be one of those children for a few days as we cavorted around New York City.

Back when I was her age – oh goodness! I actually said those words – I begged my parents to have our summer vacation in New York. It was where I dreamed of landing someday in my writing career. So in the summer of 1978, my parents loaded up our Buick station wagon and headed east from Missouri with our pop-up camper hitched behind us. Along for the journey was my eight-year-old brother Stephen and my best friend Annette. We stopped at KOA campgrounds along the way, eating meals out of the cooler that my mom had organized ahead of time.

I’ll never forget when we drove into the city the first time and the skyline seemed to rise up out of nowhere like a pop-up book when you turn the page. I remained wide-eyed as we rode the subway, climbed into the crown of the Statue of Liberty, went to the Broadway musical “Grease,” and spotted Woody Allen walking near Central Park, at least it looked like him so that is the story I am sticking with now.

Fast forward 38 years, and my daughter and I arrived at La Guardia Airport on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, then grabbed a cab to the hotel near the meeting where my marketing job had me scheduled to be in just a few hours. I brought Grace along so that we could spend the next few days on a much needed mother-daughter getaway.

I take my spot on the left of Lady Liberty, top photo with my best friend Annette in 1978, and bottom photo with my daughter Grace in 2016.

I take my spot on the left of Lady Liberty, top photo with my best friend Annette in 1978, and bottom photo with my daughter Grace in 2016.

Early Thursday morning we caught a bus to Battery Park and took a selfie with the Statue of Liberty very far off behind us, similar to a photo my parents had taken of Annette and me way back when. We also went to a place that didn’t exist way back then.

At The 9/11 Memorial we lingered around the two reflecting pools where the names of those lost on that horrific day were inscribed. Grace pointed out several women’s names that were followed by the words “and unborn child.” I looped my arm through her’s. In 2001 when the news came on the radio that a plane had struck the first tower, I was driving to my Dallas office and Grace was my unborn child; it was two months prior to her due date.

We continued our day in a more lighthearted way, posing for pictures with cartoon characters in Times Square and later dressing up for dinner and dessert at the same restaurant where my family had dined in 1978. My ulterior motive in bringing her here was to watch her experience the city through the same dreamy eyes I had at her exact age, to fall in love with the city – which takes me back to my opening question. What made me think that would happen?

And furthermore, why would I want that to happen? I want her to have her own dreams—like the one about owning a Texas ranch with lots of horses—just as I do for her siblings.

I’d brought her sister here when she was 14. She too had a nice time but it wasn’t her dream to go to New York City like it had always been mine. She was happy to visit and ready to return to her Colorado friends. My 17-year-old son was also on that trip. He hasn’t been back other than to transfer planes to continue on one of his trips abroad. My oldest son has never been and doesn’t aspire to go, unless someone could maybe set him and his wife up with some phenomenal concert tickets and a babysitter for their newborn.

Their newborn? My lineage! He’s just started having dreams. Maybe someday he’d like to go to New York with me. I mean it’s one thing to realize your kids may not be passionate about the same things as you, but grandkids? They’ve got to be a whole other story. I’m sticking to that theory for now anyway.