My mom insisted we go downtown to Chicago’s lakefront yesterday to see The Tall Ships.
Well, don’t get me wrong, I do believe there is no where more beautiful to spend a summer afternoon.
But, my reality is we live in a cul-de-sac, nestled in a suburb, nearly an hour-and-a-half away from the lakefront.
My teenage girls have their own agendas at this point in their lives. I don’t have total say over what they do anymore.
I have work commitments.
I have two dogs who need to go out every couple of hours to pee and poop, else the lovely gifts end up in my home.
To get downtown I must either board a cold, loud train, that makes a zillion stops on the way downtown, since we literally live at the end of the line. Or I have to drive along a congested highway then battle city streets–where I swear those who are walking around, think they are the only humans in the entire universe.
Then after successfully NOT killing anyone, I have to pay a premium for parking or risk being towed or getting a ticket.
For my thoughtful, lovely mom, when she wants to spend a leisure summer afternoon in the city, she simply leaves her home, hops a train and in less then an hour, poof! She is out and about for a beautiful day in the city.
But I love my mom, and truth is I do love going to the city.
So we went. I ended up driving and paying $21 for garage parking at Navy Pier. Really not so bad.
It was steamy hot. Then it rained. Then it got a little chilly, then it got hot again, then rained, repeat….
My kids complained. It was so crowded. Mom went one direction, my girls went another direction, I lost one, found one, then lost two, then found them. Repeat.
I was pulled in so many directions trying not to lose my family. QUESTION: Why was I the one charged with keeping them all together, anyway?
But eventually, the sky cleared, everyone ended up on the same page, and in the same spot. And the ships were truly magnificent. My mom was so happy we were all together. I think my daughters were happy too. (Even if they only realize that they enjoyed themselves 20 years from now when we are no longer all together and they have their own children.)
We met some really cool people.
We met these people who traveled as a “community” not so much just a “nuclear family.” We learned about their lifestyle and the reasons behind it. They “owned” one of the amazing ships and this crazy old bus that they traveled around the country in.
Not my type of lifestyle, but very interesting to learn about.
We met a man who does reenactments as a Commodore from The War of 1812.
We took beautiful, and some really funny, pictures of each other and , of course, The Tall Ships.
And we laughed a lot!
Bust most of all as I write this today, I just appreciate that we had a really nice day together as a family: as three generations of women who share the same crazy, neurotic, persistent, obnoxious, loving, kind, and beautiful strands of DNA.
Next time a far off outing is posed to me, I will try to think less about the hassle of getting somewhere wonderful – and just focus on the wonderful.
Until next time, love each other.