Outside.

I haven’t written here in a long time, in a large part because I haven’t been sure what to say, or if I even had anything worth saying. This year has been a series of profound sea changes. What could I possibly say that is of value and that hasn’t been said better elsewhere? But I suppose this space has only occasionally been about Saying Big Things, and so I will endeavor to carry on Saying Mostly Small Things, as small things are the stuff that most days and weeks and years and lives are made of.

The change of seasons has been difficult around here. It hasn’t been cold enough to wrap our heads around winter, but it hasn’t been warm enough to keep playing outside either. I am mourning the outside plans that were possible in warm(er) weather. My kids are bouncing off the walls. We continue to be grateful for an empty apartment below us.

We took advantage of the long weekend to visit two new-to-us parks on the south side – part of my ongoing agenda to get out into nature without having to go to the north side or the western suburbs. We spent a grey morning at Steelworkers Park exploring the tall grasses and watching cranes in the harbor and fishermen on the channel. The park was smaller than I expected, but plenty big enough to wear the small kid out.

We also visited Big Marsh Park. It took us a bit to find the spaces that weren’t dedicated to biking, but once we did, the kids had a great time digging holes and climbing on tree stumps and just generally being kids, free of the now-normal worries about masks or social distancing. We watched an eagle swoop over the water and wished we’d brought the big kid’s birthday binoculars.

And so we continue on with Small Things: card games and alphabet songs, coffee and cinnamon buns, masked trips to the library, another season away from the ones we love.

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