A Day

Growing up in Bloomington-Normal, I keenly remember going out Market Street and getting on I-55S to head to southern Illinois to visit my grandparents when I was a kid. I remember our big blue and silver conversion van and how my brother and I would lay on the bed in the way back seat. We would read books, play Uno and sometimes nap.  We traveled frequently to see my grandparents since both sets lived within a couple miles of one another.  I remember feeling so old when my parents would let me walk to the Corn Barn across the alley from grandma’s house by myself.  I remember walking with my grandpa in his garden that he methodically weeded, watered and cared for daily. And I remember sitting at my grandparents bar watching the Cardinals on tv while my grandpa sat in his chair.


And now my kids are getting these experiences.  They are old enough now that traveling is not a burden and car rides don’t make me shutter.  They are willing travel and adjust with ease when we exit off of I-55S at Towanda.  We come late and go straight to bed- sometimes with a popcorn as a quick snack.  Pancakes the first morning we are there that everyone helps to make.  And milkshakes are a must before we leave.


We spent Saturday at Rader Farms having clean, simple, easy fun.  Towards the end of the afternoon, I sat down with my mom on two Adirondack chairs near the huge gymnastics mat where Brady was landing after jumping from hay bales and we both looked at each other and said, “These looked pretty good. What an awesome day.”  The weather, being with my parents who are so amazing with my kids and my hometown are the perfect ingredients for a fall day.


Earlier that morning when Cate woke up a little too early with a yucky nose and a little bit disoriented, Brady and I made
the trek up from my parents’ basement to their second floor. I picked her up realizing that all she needed was me.  The three of lay on a king bed in the room and fell asleep. Both kids slept within two inches of my face so instead of sleeping I listened to them breathe.   I was keenly aware of how lucky I am and tucked this small moment deep in my vault of memories.


Having an almost 4 year and an almost 2 year old is not exactly a cakewalk.  But they are portable and flexible and little and just need to be loved.  They want to ride in wagons, swing on tire horses, touch every single pumpkin in the bunch, take tractor rides, jump like wild men, and be little. So, this weekend I let them be little.