Box Car Children
We eat them up. It’s our little time together and we have somehow even convinced Jackson that he, too, loves the Boxcar Children. He listens for about 5 minutes and then slowly begins wandering and playing, halfway listening, returning every-so-often to check in.
So this is crazy. There we were, one afternoon, driving downtown Chicago, and out of nowhere – and I do mean nowhere - I glanced to my right, along this deserted alley/railroad track and this is what I saw.
Can you believe it?
A single, red, box car just WAITING for us to explore it. Begging us, really.
So I turned to Maddie and said, “Maddie, look. It’s a red boxcar, just like in our books! We’ve got to see if we can get in it and explore it. This isn’t a safe part of Chicago (we were heading through Cabrini Green at the time) so let’s go get Daddy and we’ll come back later this week and see if we can explore it.” So that’s just what we did. One evening after work, Jack drove us back to Division Street to see OUR special red boxcar.
We arrived and felt rather conspicuous. I kept wondering when the drug dealers were going to pull up alongside and offer us a hit. Or worse yet, it felt like we were in mafia territory and I was squinting to see if the big black Mercedes was racing towards us with guns ablazin’.
It’s perhaps a measure of escape for me. I’m not doing crowd control. I’m not managing sibling rivalry. I’m not cleaning the house. I’m not cooking supper. The kids aren’t running hither and yon, jumping off the furniture. We’re just tucked in and snugly on the couch, reading together quietly. I guess it’s the fact that for a few brief moments I don’t have to be the mom. I just get to be with her, delighting in her, spending quality time with her, enjoying the simple pleasure of words on a page.