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My son, viewing Chicago from our hotel window

My son, viewing Chicago from our hotel window

If you’ve read this blog for awhile now, you know that I have two boys, one who is 8 and sees the world a little differently. And I love him for that more than anything.

He doesn’t take life for granted. He lives in the moment. Tells it like it is, and doesn’t filter his comments. He’s the one person in this family I can ask if I look fat in my jeans, and I would hear the truth whether I like it or not. He also has the biggest heart, doesn’t like to be interrupted, and has a comedic approach to most everything. He likes the Beatles, Elvis, and anything from days gone by.

He’s an old soul.

So when we visited Chicago for the weekend I found myself watching him observe the big city more than documenting my own memories. His reactions either left my husband and I laughing or welling up with tears. If my son were to sit down and put his thoughts and questions from the weekend into a letter, this is what it would say:

Dear Chicago,

I visited your exciting city for 3 whole days after just turning a whopping 8-years-old. I’ve been before, but wasn’t quite old enough to express myself like I do these days. I never knew Chicago was so busy, with so many fun things to do. I will definitely return, though some things confused me.

Why do people honk so much? It’s too loud and annoying. I didn’t care for it at all and wished it would stop. Patience, people.

Taxi drivers…why are you in such a hurry? You scared me on several occasions and I grabbed my mom’s hand a little tighter in the backseat. Slow it down, for crying out loud.

To the guy who asked my mom if she needed help with directions, you interrupted her. She was asking my dad where her favorite cupcake shop was located, and I told her you shouldn’t have gotten ‘in our business’. Mom explained that you were merely trying to help and she appreciated it. Sorry for jumping to conclusions.

To Marriott, this was the first time I got to see automatic blinds in our hotel windows. I was quite impressed, and enjoyed pushing that button. A lot. I was eventually told to stop.

People smoke too much. My school says that’s bad. Mom explained that people also smoke in our city of Indianapolis, but I noticed it more here. And why are smokers dropping their cigarettes on the ground? That’s littering.

Back to taxi drivers, why can’t kids hail cabs? Actually, they CAN, because I DID. It’s easy. I waved my hand in the air, and one stopped. I was quickly told not to do it again, and to leave the cab-hailing to Dad. But it’s not hard. Try it sometime.

The World’s Largest Chocolate Bar at the Hershey store was quite impressive, but why does it cost $44.95? And why, since I saved over $300.00 from Christmas, would my parents not let me buy it? Something about a stomach ache. Doesn’t make any sense to me.

Why does Dad give the guy in front of our hotel money and our car keys every day? And where is that guy taking it?

Why do people pay to have their ears pop as they ride up the elevator in the John Hancock building? Seems like a waste of money to me. And who is John Hancock?

There must be a lot of sick people in Chicago. I heard and saw lots of ambulances and firetrucks. They even woke me up.

I feel bad for the men who asked for money. Mom gave one our leftover pizza from dinner and said it’s the right thing to do. I offered to give them my Christmas money that I wanted to spend on that Hershey bar.

We did a lot during our visit, including Blue Man Group, Navy Pier, the ear-popping John Hancock Observatory, NikeTown, and more, yet I was most-impressed by something else:

Our hotel bellman.

Robbie high-fived me every day and always said ‘Here we go, now’ as I passed him by. I asked mom if he will be here when we return? If he will retire? How old he is, and why he’s always so happy? I want to be Robbie when I’m older, after I finish my MLB and professional-singing career, just like Babe Ruth and Blake Shelton. I’ll bet they’ve been to Chicago, too. Hey, is Babe Ruth still alive?

See you soon, Chi-town. And by the way, why do people call you that?

An 8-year-old who thinks about a lot


My kids, taking in the awesome view!

My kids, taking in the awesome view!