I’m typing next to my living room windows. It is sunny outside, and there is a steady stream of bike and pedestrian traffic providing me with a soundtrack of conversational snippets as people pass. It has been spring for weeks, but on a day like today, it feels like spring.
My five-year-old has already brought out her bicycle and played at the park today, and we’ve indulged her whims perhaps more than usual because she has only just returned from a week’s stay at her grandparents’. A week is a long time to be away from your little one. Although, I swear she doesn’t seem as little today as she did a week ago when my parents drove away with her. Did she grow so much in six days? She did lose another tooth while she was gone. Perhaps that’s the difference I’m sensing.
I had big plans for those six days, and I only crossed about half of the items off my to-do list. I always have such big dreams for my kid-free days, like the freedom of not having a little one trailing after me wherever I go (or arranging for her to follow someone else around for a while) will make anything possible. In the end, though, it’s the little things that make me that happiest. For example, I spent one evening lounging around reading while my husband was at band practice. I was able to finish a whole book in an evening. That used to be a common practice for me, but these days it’s pretty rare.
It wasn’t all small stuff this time though. There were a couple of big events I was very happy I was able to attend. The first was Sigur Ros at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, and I do not feel like I am over-hyping the event by saying that it would be on my top ten concerts in 2013 list, if I were to make one. It was my second time seeing them live, and it was just as amazing as it was back in 2005 at the State Theatre–though I will say that the theater seating was more comfortable than the general admission floor at the Roy Wilkins even if it does make me feel every bit of my age to admit that. There are some photos and thoughts on the show here, and video a friend took from the show here for those that are interested. Photos and video can’t really do justice to the experience though. I wholeheartedly recommend seeing Sigur Ros live if you can.
The second big event for my kid-free week was a chance to give back to my community. Mikey Max Heals the World is an annual birthday charity event that features local music and supports local causes. This year the lineup featured some of my friends’ bands, and the charities were organizations I was very happy to support. My personal highlight was Fort Wilson Riot, who have been featured on this blog several times before. It had been way too long since I had seen them live. They have been touring an awful lot in the past year. Great for them, not so great for me. In any case, they played a great set of their indie-pop awesomeness.
I have yet to hear the final total of money raised for the charities, but there was a great turnout. It is one show that I don’t mind when the audience gets a bit crowded. I’ll endure a bit of crowding for the knowledge that we’re all there supporting organizations like the Neighborhood Involvement Program (provides health services for the uninsured), Perspectives (supports at-risk families trying to break the cycle of poverty), and the Chicago Avenue Project (a theater mentoring program).
Life gets back to normal tomorrow. Fewer nights out, more time at the park. That’s okay too. There’s plenty of time to read while my girl bikes circles around me. Maybe I’ll get through this book club pick yet…
I might not make it out to all the shows that some of my childless (childfree?) friends do, but I can’t help but think it’s a good life. :)