Friday, August 03, 2018

Friday in Chicago

Just a handful of days ago, I was waking up to my first full day with Primrose. So much about her was still a big question mark for me. All children change all the time. Where was she at, this sweet four month old child?

Today I'm waking up to my last day with her. Outside, the predawn sky is showing off for me. It will be a beautiful Chicago day again!


And now I am at my daughter's house. Before she sets out to work, she fixes breakfast for the two of us. Primrose is asleep, we enjoy these few adult moments together.


And now the little girl is up. I dress her and I smile to myself because from texted pictures, I see that this is the same dress that Snowdrop wore yesterday. Cousins indeed!


With parents gone, I spend some time playing with Primrose on their bed. Shh! Don't tell them we did this!

"Yes, but where are we going for our adventure, grandma?"


Eventually we do go out. My daughter suggested for me an even longer walk south of where they live. Wonderful! Primrose really is a terrific stroller baby!

We go to a cafe called Milk and Honey. Here it is:


It's on Division Street, which, in this set of blocks, is lined with a string of eateries and cafe-bars.

I am not the only toting along a little one. The cafe is popular with young families. (Gulp! Am I the only ancient grandma here?) Before I dig into my soup, I take the ever patient Primrose out and play around with selfies. I do about five and they're all silly. I suppose my expression says as much, because a sympathetic mom takes my camera and shoots this pic of the two of us. Fine, it is much better than my own timed release ones, where I'm either wiping Primrose's face or taking her fist out of my soup bowl (it's a cold soup).


I eat, we leave, but surely we're not done adventuring! There's a children's store across the street. Want to go, Primrose?

I don't wait for an answer.

At the store she watches me look at this rack and that shelf. There is a wee bit of a reward for her:  Primrose, look! Something for you to chew on! I told you the day would come soon when I would buy you a donut!


It is true that I've pushed her a little on this walk. It's a hot day and we've now made two stops, none of them especially magnificent from her perspective. As I study her serious face, I say somewhat sheepishly to the clerk -- this grandma just wanted this walk to last forever. I may have over-adventured her...
It's when the going gets tough that they grow, the clerk smiles at me, at Primrose.


And of course, Primrose gives her the most beguiling look.

Later, at home, I make it up to the sweet child by playing her a Polish folk song on the guitar. It was a lovely moment. Primrose is not old enough to do what Snowdrop does when I take out the guitar -- ("Can I play? Can I please play now?). She listens, understanding perhaps the message in the melody, if not the words.


Mom is home now. Lots of happy hugs. Mom with daughter, then granddaughter saying good bye to grandma, daughter saying good bye to this mother and then we do it all over again!


It is, of course, hard to leave. It's always hard to leave people you love to pieces. On the upside, I'm returning to people I love and as for Primrose and her parents -- I'll be seeing them ever so soon when I come back toward the end of August for one more week of Primrose play before she starts her own "school" in September.

In the meantime, let me just leave you with a simple photo of a simple painted message on a building I pass every day on my way to Primrose's home.


Really, isn't it what moves us forward each day? And brings out all those beautiful smiles on a child's face?

With such happy thoughts I catch the late evening bus back to Madison, where Ed is waiting to take me home.

Can I make you some corn? -- he asks as we come into the farmhouse.