Well, I was gone! I went to Chicago for two - count ‘em two - birthday parties; a 40th birthday and a 2nd birthday, quite the range. We drove down on Friday for the first party, my sister’s college roommate.
I remember being around 13/14 years old and going to spend the weekend with my sister at college - which I thought was the coolest thing ever because I hated kids my own age and had more in common with older kids, as well the awesomeness of being on an ‘away trip’ without my parents. My sister's roommate, W, was always really psyched to hang out with me and show me all the cool college haunts and take me to all the gatherings, even though I imagine most people would be like, “Oh, your baby sister is coming for a visit? Yeah, I’ll see you next week.”
The party was a surprise and she totally had no idea. It was in the common room at her sister’s condo building and as they were approaching the room, she thought, "Oh, look, someone is having a birthday party," and then her sister headed into the room and W was like, "Holy crap!". She was totally shocked to see we had made the drive too. I was a little nervous because I haven’t done a big social event like that with mostly strangers since I got off the drugs. With no pills, and since I shouldn’t really be drinking while they are messing around with my medication, I was prepared to be really self-conscious and kind of on the sidelines. But that didn’t happen at all. Knowing W the way I do, I don’t know why I thought her friends wouldn’t be approachable and easy going just like she is. Anyways, I had a really good time!
Then we went to hiyacynth‘s house, who we have been friends with for like eleven years now. I slept on the couch, so I was greeted in the morning by a rambunctious two year old wanting to play, but there are worse things to be greeted by than a cutie-patootie face! Her son was having his 2nd birthday party that afternoon. It was at a really cool place called Musical Magic. A woman did a group music session for about thirty minutes with hand puppets, noise makers, a parachute and a bubble machine. She actually had a really good program set up, where every song she changed up what they were using and doing, because with kids that young, after about three minutes it is good to quick go to the next thing in an active session like that. I didn’t get a chance to talk to her, which was too bad, since I worked for so long in child care, I was quite interested in how she got started doing this all. There were also snacks and cake and we all sang Happy Birthday - poor Munchy P was like, "Why is everyone standing around me clapping in my face?" - and goodie bags for the children. I was very impressed with the business, as a music program and a place for kids' parties, and I really think we should get one here. Down at the old armory there is a great building with after school programs for kids like gymnastics and dance and art classes, and a place like this would fit in wonderfully.
After that we went back to hiyacynth's house and had dinner with her family and a nice little visit before crashing for the night. In the morning we met W and her mom for breakfast and then headed on home. You know, I almost backed out of the trip several times, because I thought we had reached the point where my sister and I needed a break from each other, as people who live together do sometimes, and because I was having my Awesome Time of Month and was just feeling under the weather. Even Friday morning, after I hadn’t slept very well, I almost changed my mind. But now I am really glad I went. I don’t get to do things like that very often - it’s way too draining on me and so many times the physical logistics of places just don’t work for me - so this was a rare treat.
I have always really loved Chicago too. If I were ever going to live in a city, I think that is where I would want to live. It is not really doable for me - cities just aren’t that accessible. But on Friday night, driving across town, there were all these people on the streets and the city just has so much life and I really enjoy that. I only wish I had like one more day there so I could have gotten together with some of my Chicago Flisties, but I just couldn’t figure how to squeeze it all in. I think I have maybe talked my sister into a four day trip towards the end of the summer though, so we’ll see about that.
All in all, a very good weekend, even if I am going to be paying for it for the next week or so.