Dear Chicago

chicago

Dear Chicago,

I want to thank you. You were home to us for almost 13 years- before there was the “us” that is today. You took me in as a 22 year old girl. You taught me how to live in a big city. Sometimes you chewed me up and spit me out. I spent hundreds of dollars and thousands of tears getting my car out of the impound after getting it towed four times in one year. I spent hours frustrated sitting in traffic.  Other times, you welcomed me with open arms. It was here that I had my first job, bought my first car and later home, became a wife as well as a mother. I have layers and layers of memories in your city. I was able to meet some really amazing people, and had friendships both young and old.

I miss your walkability, your free zoo, and the giant Whole Foods nearby. I miss the option of having a girls dinner and meeting a friend for lunch. Mostly I miss the familiarity that you brought.

I came to Chicago as a young girl eager to take on a big city. I had challenges along the way but overall, I rose to the occasion. I learned the ways of living there and raising children there. You were a great home to us for many years and for that I am thankful.

I imagine I will miss you for sometime, yet slowly you will become foreign to me too and I will have a new normal. I know in my heart it was time to move on. I do not regret our decision to leave. I only want to thank you.

Your forever friend,

Melanie

 

Home

Definitely a different view than the one in Miami

We are back in Chicago. It’s rained for the last 48 hours. It’s still raining now. The weatherman actually said, “It’s a beautiful day if you are a duck’. I made homemade chicken noodle soup yesterday. The whole house smelled like it. Soup isn’t something that I ever felt like having in Florida. Here, it’s strangely comforting. Brooks woke up yesterday morning at 5 am and today at 5:30. Both days I let him cry (off and on) for an hour. The hour time difference, him being sick, and the new surroundings are all to blame. Chris is notably more stressed. I told him this morning I want to put him on a plane and ship him back to Florida (with Brooks and I of course). It’s funny being back here. It didn’t feel like we were in Miami that long but it was one third of Brooks’s life. When we left he still wasn’t sitting up. We came home to a house set up for another baby. Yesterday, I spent part of the day going through the house and his drawers to store all of the “baby” stuff he’s out grown. His drawers were full of 3-6 month clothing that no longer fits. The swing that he spent so much time in for his first few months is now stored in the basement for the next baby. I took his bath tub out of the tub and replaced it with a no-slip mat and bath toys. I sit in his room with him and feel so many memories around me. Time goes so fast. It feels like yesterday that I was sitting in his room, totally sleep deprieved, holding him with one arm, and holding the Ipad with the other. That’s the thing about home. It’s not so much about the stuff as it is about all of the memories that the stuff holds. Brooks and I were walking to the grocery yesterday (fine, it did stop raining for like a second) and I could feel a tug of the old anxiety that I got when he was tiny and I was afraid of everything. Even a trip to the grocery store used to scare me. Yesterday, it was like a ghost following me down the street. Still, it’s nice to be home. I love this house. I love Brooks’s room. I love all of the memories that live here. 

Brooks’s nursery…taken when he was 2 weeks old

Brooks now

 I have no business sitting here writing this. I have a million things to unpack and do. I got a ton done yesterday but only made a dent. On the other hand though, my to-do-list isn’t going anywhere and since this weather is so crumby, we probably aren’t either. If I sound bitter or unhappy, I’m not. There is a big part of me that is really glad to be home. I already miss some things about Miami…the weather, the ocean, our nanny. The thing is we always knew that we were only going to be there for 3 months. We never let ourselves get too settled into our apartment. I don’t miss the squeaky dishwasher, the potato peeler that broke every time I used it, or the bath tub that wouldn’t plug. None of this mattered much while we were there though either. Fact is that I’m grateful for the time that we spent there. It was good for us. Change is hard for me but also really good for me. I’m a habitual person. I like to plan. Brooks and I get into our regime and it’s comfortable. Moving there for 3 months rocked the boat in January and again now, being home. It’s a good change. I’m looking forward to seeing friends and with in a few days we’ll be back into the swing of things here. It’s all good. We are very blessed and for that I am eternally grateful.