Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

June 25, 2005

big Chicago

The girls and I tagged along to Billy's business conference in Chicago- to the hotel, not the conference- and I had a very exciting time taking care of the kids there. It was a wild ride! Almost everything I did was something or somewhere new so I just had to keep being brave. I used to travel all over the place with minimal stress- Japan, Korea, Guyana, Antigua, Barbados, St. Croix, St. Lucia, etc. and to lots of big cities: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, etc. but I am not used to traveling with three small children, one of whom is four months old! It's a totally different experience. Many of their needs cannot easily be taken care of while traveling. Little kids need to be able to run around, babies need to be nursed on their own schedules, regardless of your travel itinerary, etc, etc. And I've been living in a gradually retracting circle, taking care of a new baby and two little kids at home. I'm VERY lucky if I get one ten minute walk by myself once a week. (I'm also really lucky to get any writing done here, but that's a little easier since it's in the house and naps can be effectively utilized for that purpose.) So I'm looking forward to my circle expanding and being able to take my kids out into the world more and more. That's one of the benefits of homeschooling, in my mind- having the time to learn by being there in the places you are learning about, instead of just reading about them. But I digress. We arrived in our lovely hotel room, flung open the curtains, and saw the whole skyline of buildings, complete with fireworks (I'm not kidding) off of Navy Pier. We were so excited we could hardly sleep. Billy went off to his conference early, we woke up later and tried to eat our cereal, but we were just too excited to eat. We found the hotel pool, but it was lacking in stairs and shallow parts for kids, so we cut our losses and drove off through moderate traffic to Layli and Mom's new house in Lindenhurst, just past Great America. It was a hike, but the kids were still really excited so they did really well in the car. They have a lovely townhouse that looks very much like the one they just moved from. We decided, after a lovely lunch, to head to the beach to relax and meet up with Suzanne and Amia. Driving all the way back down 94, Teresa finally had enough with all the driving and screamed until we stopped at a gas station for a diaper change and nurse. When we finally got to the beach, I was exultant. We made it! It was perfect beach weather- hot, but late in the day so not such burning sun, and cool (OK, cold. but in a good way) water. And with Layli and Suzanne and I with all our kids, it felt like the ideal playgroup.There was very little squabbling among the three big kids (Georgia, Maya, and Lucy) and just a lot of playing and sand castle building. Husayn and Anya (Suzanne's sister) joined us and we had a great time. I even got to bond with Amia and get to know her a little bit. She's such a great person to know. Such interesting expressions and little words. There's so much going on in her head and she was so brave, facing the waves and walking into the water as far as she could (holding Suzanne's hand of course). Then we had a boisterous and delightful dinner at Chipotle, eating outside in downtown Evanston. The girls were still running around and getting into mischeif at the very end at like 9:30. Teresa started to get sick by the end of the evening though and was miserable with a fever and stuffy nose by then. That's when the tide of the trip turned and the hard part of travelling with kids started up. She screamed in the car most of the way back to the hotel because she was just sick of it all. And the next day I cancelled our plans to museum and play downtown to take care of her at the hotel until Billy was done. It was a tortuous day just sitting around in the lobby and trying to entertain the kids while taking care of sick Teresa. But it was terribly hot out and downtown was swamped with Taste of Chicago, so I thought it better to just sit tight. The ride home was long for the kids, but at least there were two adults to help them.

I found the whole experience, good and bad, to be really empowering and circle-widening. The energy in that city is enormous. Even the elevators are faster there. And I did so many new things that I either didn't think I could do or had forgotten that I could do. The biggest was staying calm and happy in the face of uncertainty and difficulties. I tried to just stay flexible and loose and it really helped. And the best part is that I already want to do it again!

Posted by Bahiyyih at June 25, 2005 10:13 AM

Hey, Bahiyyih. I just wanted to drop a note to say how absolutely impressed I was at your bravery for driving into the city and all around town with your three precious girls. Traveling with Amia has always been a big stressor for me (though with the discovery of ice cubes, things seem to be going a little better) so to see you driving about with three young ones is enormously impressive to me. Way to go, Bahiyyih! Can't wait to see you soon, and maybe next time we'll get to see Billy too!

Posted by: Suzanne at June 29, 2005 05:46 PM

We have *GOT* to get a cell phone for these trips. Once again, being shown up by the younger, more technologically-hip generation.

Posted by: Billy at July 6, 2005 03:03 PM

And we were so excited to see you in our new home. Lots of space for those future visits. It can only get easier as everyone ages. The children, that is.



Posted by: Nana at July 7, 2005 04:29 PM