This is the first time that I pack a bag and head down to visit my younger one in her new Chicago home. Since I’m thinking, guessing, hoping that such back and forths will be commonplace, I want to feel how “big deal” they are in terms of travel burdens.
Visiting my girls on the East Coast was a big deal. Not only the time spent traveling, the cost of the whole gig and the feeling of distance that flying somewhere always produces, but the advanced planning that had to go into it – both theirs and mine.
Taking a bus down to Chicago (and then the El to her place) is, in fact, easy. Oh, sure, there are the hours on the bus. Good reading time, you might say.
Still, she felt burdened by work this week-end and you could ask if, therefore, another time would have been better.
And the answer, I think, is no.
There was the mini birthday celebration, of course.
But even had there been none of it, sometimes it’s good to just drop in and share a meal, even if it’s a simple pizza (the second night, at the New Haven-like Piece)...
...and then resume your normal activities – no special outings, no complicated adventures, merely time spent working, all of us, affirming that this ride down is good despite life's encumbrances. A no big deal trip. So that the distance, too, feels like no great distance at all. A subway ride, then a bus, heading up now on the return, just a little to the north and to the west. That’s it.