Saturday, May 12, 2012


Thursday was one of those days - in between me working late and half-wishing I could attend a night event -where I dreamed my mom and mother-in-law lived in town so I could send Jeremy and the kids over to them for dinner.

We are one of many families with young kids who do not live near our extended family. It's helped me to think about the ways in which my day-to-day interactions remind of the communities I've come to rely upon during my life in Chicago. My people.

It  was sitting at an awards luncheon this past Tuesday with some of my favorite colleagues and board member, getting recognized for a really big project that I had no idea we could execute last year. I had a newborn. I was tired. But I had really good people working with me. And we did it. With accolades. 

It's the same luncheon where I saw Jeremy and his colleagues also get recognized for their good work and that's just plain cool.

It was participating in a day-long retreat, surrounded by board and fellow staff for my organization. A group I know so well that I seated the room of 43 in 10 minutes on paper. My facilitator called it "social engineering" and so I would like that title now. Social engineer. We were there all together ready for change. And it's inspiring to know you're part of a moment in an organization's history. With nice views of Millennium Park to boot.

It was going back and forth with a corporate donor I know well. And where we got to the point that she left a dollar amount on my work voicemail and told me to work with that.

It was opening my mailbox and getting a lovely mother's day card from my best friend. It was opening my email and seeing good job news from another friend. 

It was seeing Jack's excitement at the prospect of Maria's daughter Ruby coming over Saturday night with her mom. I predict Jack practically pushing Jeremy and I out the door as we head to our anniversary dinner so he can play Legos with his friend.

It was spending time at Jack's school today, celebrating the school's teachers at a lovely lunch and feeling camaraderie among the parents. It was making playdates, sharing pictures of our kids and sending post-event text messages. And getting nostalgic as we near the end of Jack's first-ever school year. 

I love my family and Jeremy's family very much. I talked with my mom and my sisters on the phone this week. I texted a picture of Jossie's rash to my middle sister (turns out it was just a reaction to a vaccination). There's no doubt of the place they have in my heart. I'm grateful, however, to have found the people I have here in Chicago.

I organized the childcare for today's lunch at the preschool. I was there until the very end, and as I gathered up my children and our things to go home, I surveyed Jack's classroom. Today was a warm spring day, and the windows were thrown open, and it feel like the waning days of the school year. The afternoon noise from Michigan Avenue was soft in the background and the breeze fluttered the glittery paper stars that were hanging in the doorway. I smiled - I could here a clock tick-tocking - I certainly had never been in the classroom when it was that quiet. I'm grateful for what we found here - this loving community.

And it was the woman who rode the elevator up through the parking garage to our car with me and my cranky children who reminded me of the larger community we're all apart of. Humanity. I had my stroller laden down with a drowsy Jossie, a portable high-chair, a lunch bag, a laptop, an extra pair of shoes, my purse and Jack's monkey backpack. Jack's hand was tucked into mine as I held onto the stroller. She surveyed my little world of chaos and simply said, "Happy Mother's Day."

Happy weekend, loves.

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