Last weekend, I visited Chicago. My brother, his wife and their two kids live in a suburb of the Windy City. Courtesy of my parents, I was able to spend a long weekend with the family.
To impress people, I wish I could say that I spent the weekend like a Chicago college gal – Cubs’ games, wild nightlife and shopping along Michigan Avenue.
However, my weekend was the opposite. Instead of a Cubs’ game, I went to two separate tee-ball practices. My nightlife consisted of playing “Follow the Leader” on the trampoline. I did manage a small afternoon of shopping, but it was in downtown Plainsfield, and it was cut short because we had to pick up my nephew from Kindergarten.
But, honestly, I would not have had it any other way.
Since my brother and his family moved up to Illinois over a year ago, I have not had a chance to visit them until now. I know that my nephew started school this year, but I have not seen him go. I have heard stories about their sliding and falling at hockey practices, but have not experienced the sweetness of a six-year-old in ice-skates and hockey pads. I have been told about the remodeling my brother did to their home, but have not been able to adore it.
But, now I have seen it all. I can visualize the family – them sitting at the kitchen table coloring, their dog, Buddy, chasing the boys up the stairs and four pairs of tennis shoes piled in a trunk near the front door.
I can see the boys bouncing on the trampoline in the backyard and riding their bikes (with training wheels, of course) down to the neighborhood park. I can see them sitting in their playroom watching some cartoon, and I can see their small tike-sized clothes hanging in their closets.
I can see family pictures hanging over the top of the television, and I can see the miniature handprints of a three-year-old and a six-year-old all over the glass front door. I can see a front yard covered in Silly String (or to them, Spiderman’s web), and a desk covered in prizes won from Chuck E. Cheese.
I can see a family who is happy, healthy, and very much at home in Chicago.
Plainsfield is the name of the suburb where they actually reside, and it is an idyllic town. The houses are strong, yet simple, and all the flowerbeds are neatly manicured. Families are spotted pushing their strollers along the sidewalk. The town has a bustling town square, plenty of parks for the children, white picket fences, and soda shops.
During my trip, we managed to squeeze in a visit to the Corn Festival. It is exactly what you would think it would be – a festival in town honoring the wealth of sweet corn in the area.
There were carnival games, live music, fair rides, funnel cakes, magic shows (all of which we enjoyed), plus all the sweet corn that one could handle. I never thought I would enjoy eating a cob of corn so much, but it was absolutely divine. The sensational taste of buttery sweetness mixed with salty seasoning had me chomping down.
Leaving that weekend was hard because I knew that it would be awhile before I would be able to return. But, the plane ride home was manageable because of the abundance of vivid memories I had.
Last weekend, I visited Chicago. My brother, his wife, and their two kids live in a suburb of the Windy City, and it is apparent that their life is pleasant, satisfying and filled with wonderful details of love.