Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No Fish, A Wish, and Delish

We've discussed here before how important it is to make someone happy. I'm sure we've also touched on how darn hard that can be. And then, some times, it all lines up just right and it seems so simple. We have had several difficult weeks at work and the constant pitter patter of doomsday's feet coming down the hall at us has taken its toll. I spent the last week posting morose daily ditties on facebook about how each day of the week was as agonizingly bad as the one before. But a gal can be miserable for only so long.

So I spent all day yesterday wondering how I'd turn the page, so to speak. Before I left for work I promised the kids we'd have a little treat when we got home. As I sat at my desk, I reviewed my options and settled on the idea of some late afternoon fishing at the harbor. I pictured us all lined up on the wall, feet dangling, poles in the water, lakefront scenes providing a backdrop to a happy summer evening for our family. Perfect! Then I pictured all the schlepping of equipment and chairs and snacks and the rest. I pictured my husband swearing under his breath as child after child dropped his/her worm into the water and asked for a new one. And I pictured trekking back and forth to the port-a -potty where child after child would insisit he/she could 'hold it instead'. Not the picture I was looking for. So I decided.

No fish.

After I felt like I'd scanned all the other possibilities and discounted them for one reason or another, I was starting to feel a little helpless. My Facebook status update blinked at me expectantly. My husband's moping became near-neanderthal in appearance as bad news reached epidemic levels in the office. Kids called, sounding so full of fun as they awaited our arrival for the big family night I had yet to plan. Seriously a "Calgon, take me awayyyyy" moment. But we don't have a tub at the office and it'd been a little weird for me to disrobe and put flowers in my hair for a bubble bath anyway.

So, I made a wish.

'Lord, please let me find a way to make this happen.' No bushes set aflame, although in fairness we don't have those in the office either, so I figured it was no luck but worth a shot. I continued to perform the manic task of mentally evaluating all options and then ticking them off the list as quickly as they appeared. It was frantic and exhausting. As we got in the car to go home, I had nothing.

Then, a few blocks from home, I blurted out to my husband, "We're going to Millenium Park!" Don't ask me where that came from; I've no idea. Oddly, he asked "Why? What's at Millenium Park?" Ack! I hadn't thought of that. Why would he want to know that?

If you ever hear me complain about my new cell phone (which sucks, but I'm not going there right now) remind me of this. In mere seconds I had pulled up the schedule for the park and discovered they were having an open-air performance at the pavilion. Score! We went home, packed a few things to eat and a cooler, got the kids ready and off we went. Parking was pretty easy and we found a spot close to the stage. We all sat down, bits of music tinkling in the air, the city starting to twinkle as dusk set in, all the colors and flavors represented. Then it started.

Have you ever seen Handel's Acis and Galatea? I began to panic. The mangificence of the venue aside, I've probably experienced more delight in the performance of wet socks cycling through a laundromat dryer than I did at that show. A few minutes into it I thought I was going to cry. The kids were entirely focused on eating, my husband was growing irate with their constant crinkling of packages and bouncing out of seats, and I was mortified that my lovely evening was going up in flames. And then it happened. The Lord took time away from his busy schedule to cast his favor upon me - upon all of us - and it happened.

As the orchestra played, my husband turned to me and whispered gravely, "Be vewwwwy quiet. I'm hunting wwwahhhbbit." I almost lost my full bladder. What a night! We stayed for the whole thing, the kids alternately listening and then giggling to themselves, my husband and I sitting a row behind them, arm in arm, taking in the air and sound and sparkle. After, we all went for a walk through the park, exploring exhibits, stopping to gaze and amaze, joking, laughing, holding hands. We ended with a splash-walk through the Crown fountain and back to the car, where losing our parking ticket was no match for the night we had.

Quite simply, delish.

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