The trip to Chicago came at the perfect time for us.
Losing Madison and Lucy within six months of each other was hard. Really hard. I did not handle Lucy’s death well. I was sad for a while, and then I was angry. Angry all the time. The summer was rough, and I didn’t really transition well into school and the fall. Our house was not a happy place.
Everyone was looking forward to Chicago. A little time to ourselves, away from everything.
It was everything we needed. Away from work and home and to do lists and all the anger leftover from the summer, I laughed easily and joked with the girls. We cranked the music and sang along to songs. We had adventures and went out for dinner and snuggled in bed together. When I asked Delaney her favorite part of the trip, she said “You”.
As a single mom, it can be hard to be really present with my kids. There is always something that needs to be done, it’s endless. Add that on top of everything else, and we were just completely off. I try really hard to find a good balance, but that balance just wasn’t there at all this summer or early fall and that sucked for everyone.
When we were at Shedd Aquarium the girls were taking a really long time picking out their souvenirs. As I looked around I spotted a cool Chicago Christmas ornament (perfect tradition to start!) and a key chain. I bought them both, with the hope that they would remind me of our trip to Chicago. Every time I grabbed my keys, I would remember how much fun we had, and relax bit.
Once we were back I thought the pressures of normal life would creep up on us again, and things would go back to the same. They haven’t though. Everyone is a little more relaxed, a little goofier. We still need to get out the door in the morning, but everyone pulls together, and we laugh as we run late to the bus. It’s been good.