Thursday, August 02, 2018

Thursday in Chicago

Kids get you to think about stuff that is outside of your own self. You can't afford to be distracted by your own nonsense. They bring you around quickly to their issues, engaging you fully in their mishaps, joys and explorations.  I notice that when I leave the hotel, I give a glance at the morning stampede of people hurrying to work and I admire the morning light on the old buildings in the neighborhood and then I drop all thoughts that had been ruminating in my head and focus on the child who will be in my charge for the next nine hours.


Goodbye irrelevant stream of issues and nagging reminders. Hello, Primrose!


It is early (I arrive at 7:45), but she is already cycling through her first hours of eating and playing. Indeed, she is soon ready for her morning nap. And I'm ready for my breakfast, with an eye toward the sleeping child.


And now comes our time to make something of this day. Primrose is an enthusiastic participant. "Whatever you suggest, grandma! Let's do it!"


"I'm waiting!"


Time for an adventure!

We go out, passing the park and of course, I see the predictable congregation. All women. Mothers, caregivers. Perhaps grandmothers. Will the day come when a park like this will be, on a weekday, gender balanced? (My second thought is that I am seeing some impressive strollers in Chicago!)


There are any number of murals in the city and I rarely photograph them, as I'm so much more drawn to the street scenes that include people. But this mural really is impressive, so I pause and take note.


Primrose and I enter the cafe that is on the other side of that wall -- Ipsento. It's a hot and muggy day in the city and the cafe's cool air is a welcome relief. The little one has been angelic on these adventuring expeditions. I tell her that one of these days, a little donut like this one can be hers. But not today.


(I take a pic of someone else's coffee and plate of little donuts. It looks much more interesting because there are three. My orange-honey one soloing on a plate looks puny by comparison.)


Whenever we enter a store or cafe, I do take the babe out of the stroller. We practice sitting and selfie taking!


And now we're home again, happy to be in a cool place, excited about doing an occasional roll.


And soon enough you glance at the clock and notice that it's time for the parents -- first mom then dad -- to be returning from their downtown jobs.  Time to walk out toward the commuter train stop to greet mommy. Oh, that looks of joy on these two faces!


My time with the little one isn't quite done yet. After dinner I stick around while the young couple goes out on a "date." But Primrose is a superb night sleeper and so I do little more than occasionally glance at the monitor to make sure she asn't leapt out of her bassinet and ran away.

You can tell, of course, that these Chicago stories are all about my time with the little girl. She becomes my focus. And that's such a fine thing.

I sometimes wonder when I watch older people smiling at children if they're enjoying the shenanigans of the little ones, or maybe they're simply enjoying a break from their own pesky thoughts and ruminations.