on the weekend of marty's 40th birthday, numerous things happened. some things were pedestrian like sick kids. and some things were not, like the dead goose that mysteriously appeared, precariously hanging in a large tree in front of our house the morning of her birthday. in attempt to salvage some part of the weekend, i had declared marty off limits to the kids (and myself) on saturday and sunday so she could rest or leave or do whatever she wanted. during this time marty's sister from chicago called. we were chatting and i relayed marty's rough week and suck birthday to her. i also shared that my ski trip got cancelled because my mancation partner still fancied himself a twenty five year old at times.
the sister said our family should come to her house for spring break. i explained my family's acceptance rate regarding extended invitations (it is aberrantly high), even when the gestures are offered out of simply courtesy. pride, shame and sense aren't things we contend with as much as we maybe should. even with this understanding, not only did the sister persist, she even upped the kitty by offering to watch the kids friday and saturday so marty and i could go downtown for a couple days. as this would be only the third time in ten years both marty and i have spent a night away from our children (and never two nights!!!), this proved the deal maker. seven days later we packed up the car and headed north to chicago.
on thursday and friday we went downtown with the kids and took in a couple of the museums and a few of the sites. then on friday evening and saturday instead of spas and shopping on michigan ave, marty and i pulled out of the sister's driveway, drove a couple miles down the road, checked into a fairfield inn and slept, ate decadently and watched in-room movies while sharing bags of microwave popcorn in bed (the tourist and inception).
the first morning there i heard a calamity next door while i read and marty slept. it was a family ... with children. i groaned at the poor luck as i heard them bickering and chirping at one another. i was still conflicted on how bad this was when i heard the mother bark at someone, "put on your underwear - NOW!" and found myself happy it wasn't me doing that yelling or my child being yelled at. so even with the shrill, tense family next to us (to remind us of our boon), our weekend couldn't have been more lovely, relaxing or peaceful.
and, i will often talk about the good side of raising kids without a television but rarely do i talk of the downsides, one being whenever you go anywhere that has tv's or computers your kids will forego all else, even a store full of legos, to suck on the teat that is digital media. like the amish to a pepsi.
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