It's been a rough Christmas vacation week for this family. The road trip up to Chicago went pretty well because Judah slept the entire way. He had a fever when I carried him into the hotel the first night, and that was just the beginning of him getting sicker and sicker. He's had a cold once or twice before, but nothing like this. This terrible cough, spiking fevers, listlessness, loss of appetite.... pretty scary. He's been a completely different child. I considered taking him to urgent car on Christmas Day. His spiking fevers seem to have stopped, but he's obviously still never sick and I don't know if I should just wait it out or take him to the doctor before we leave the city.
It sucks to have all of that go down while we're in our very rare time with family and in our favorite city. We were really looking forward to having him play with his cousin. Oh well, nothing we can do about it! Isaac and I are sick now too, but not as badly has Judah has been. We've still been able to enjoy time with Isaac's parents and sisters and their spouses and kids.
It was surprisingly emotional driving into the city. It's always sentimental, and it's striking because of how much time we spent wandering the city during college. I've spent nearly as long in Dallas now as I spent in Chicago, but it's been in our apartment, at church, at the grocery store, etc. Most of the city I recognize but I haven't been to or made my own - you know? In Chicago as we drive through I have been on every street corner with friends or out with Isaac, roller blading or catering or going to festivals. Every corner is a story to me.
This time we drove in from the southwest, a route we don't usually take. We came off of 55 directly onto Lakeshore Drive in between the Field Museum and Grant Park, suddenly dropped in the middle of memories. I looked to the right where I've catered a hundred times and it was like a punch in the gut, seeing the route the bus took when I sat and talked to Clark on our way to a catering event, the last time I saw him before he committed suicide my senior year.
I looked left then, and saw Grant Park. I've been there a hundred times as well, but it is vivid with memories of Mandy because that's where we always roller bladed to together with whatever guys would go with us - winding through the rose gardens and statues.
Isaac and Judah and I unloaded at Navy Pier and got to see it all decked out for Christmas. When we finished we drove back out off of the pier, down Chicago Avenue, and just past our old house in the Ukrainian Village. I was in tears as we drove out of Navy Pier because again, it was my roller blading route with Mandy, and she is gone. Her memorial is set up just blocks from my sister-in-law's apartment.
Once the shock of those memories passed, we just remember again how much we love this city. It's impossible to take advantage of it and see all the friends and places we'd like to see, and mostly we've been staying with family and nursing our sick boy. I know the photos and videos of the few moments when Judah is on his feet will be striking in the future, when the three cousins are all baby boys and we are all young couples and aunt Tiana was still in high school.