Saturday, June 9, 2012

A healthy reminder

Today, after three years of planning and $30 million spent, the 100+ patients at Children’s Memorial Hospital were moved to their new digs at the new Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in downtown Chicago. This move has been on my mind and heart. As Jeremy and I took the kids for an outing to the Green City Market early this morning, we sat at the intersection of Stockton Drive and Fullerton Avenue as two ambulances drove past us. I felt very emotional seeing those ambulances pass us – thinking about all of the care, attention and love had gone into today, ensuring those precious children got the best care they can. I’m grateful for that honor of life and all of the resources we have to protect it.

Later in the day, we would find ourselves walking outside the old hospital, as it’s near our friends’ house we were visiting for an afternoon party. I struck up conversation with one of the police officers directing traffic around the hospital, and she good-naturedly griped that she had volunteered to do this work. I thanked her for doing this important work and she told me to enjoy the day for her while she toiled in the hot sun.

And we did. You know me – the Green City Market is my favorite and complete with a walk around the Lincoln Park Zoo’s nature boardwalk – well, I’m in heaven.

We came home with semolina bread, a handful of peonies, two quarts of strawberries and lettuce.

I then took Jack to another volunteer opportunity with Openlands – to help clean up a school garden on Chicago’s west side – we were literally a stone’s throw from the United Center. I’m continually re-adjusting my expectations of what Jack will get out of an experience – I think he was pretty good today. He enjoying digging in the dirt and kept the complaining to a minimum.

As his cheeks got flushed from the warm weather, we took off for home to clean up for a birthday party at our friends’ house.

My children clung to me all day. Jossie is becoming a willful toddler, and Jack never stops talking. Roscoe the cat peed in a clean basket of clothes today. Altogether, this was exhausting. It’s this fine balance. Sometimes I want to throw up my hands in frustration or fall down in exhaustion from the daily care of my kids, our house and my work. But they’re healthy, and I know to appreciate that.

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