"After tomorrow the NATO ends and we can all go back to our places. We can all be happy." Amelia, 4 yrs old
This is what my daughter told me at bed time last night after three days of seeing her life inconvenienced by the NATO summit taking place in Chicago. We live in the neighborhood where the summit and the massive protest took place. Our street was shut down, we needed an ID to get into our parking garage and we had heavy federal and local police presence since Thursday. Amelia's downtown school shut down Friday and Sunday.
It was a teachable moment, but the kid is four years old, so we kept it simple.
"Mama, what is the NATO?"
"It's a meeting of presidents of many countries."
"Mama, why are those people marching?"
"They are complainng about things they don't like?"
"Mama, why are the people and the police fighting?"
"Because the protesters won't leave. Protesting is very important, but you have to do it respectfully."
I'm not sure she understood that because she started yelling at the cops on TV to leave the people alone.
We tried to live our lives around NATO interruptions. We couldn't leave the area because I had to work on Sunday, but we had tickets to "A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar" at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre and for Atencion, Atencion at the Old Town School of Music. This last one was on Sunday at 11 AM and by the time it was done, we were coming back into the South Loop when the giant march was already headed our way.
I'm happy to report we made it home safe and we enjoyed every minute of both events, but my husband and I listened to the radio while driving back. We were glued to the TV watching what was going on in our streets and kept looking at social media for updates. Clearly, our four year old, as the rest of Chicago, is fed up with THE NATO and ready to move on with our lives. Ay Mama!
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