I was going through some old photos to get some quick inspiration when I found the pictures from Kate and “Bean’s” visit to Chicago in the summer of 2010.
For those of you who haven’t been here long, Kate is my close friend from high school and Bean is her daughter.
I have spent lots of quality time with Bean and her family over the years. I went to Europe with them for a week when Bean was a toddler. I spent a week at their house shortly after Bean’s little brother (formerly known here as Squeaks) was born. (Dinner conversation with five-year-old Bean is here, Kate.) That visit to Chicago in 2010 was a few days long and I hung out with Bean while Kate was at a conference. Of course there have been many short visits, whenever I’m in Knoxville.
By the way, Bean is now a very grown-up twelve. I’m feeling super old over here.
Going through the photos from that visit was a blast from the past. We did all the tourist stuff, and one day when it was just Bean and me, we spent hours and hours at the Adler Planetarium. The Adler Planetarium is a place that everyone should visit. That day, Bean and I had a blast. We found a huge play area for kids right after lunch and that little girl made friends and built things and crawled through tunnels and played games; it was well worth the price of admission.
Right outside of the Adler Planetarium happens to be a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. Before we went to find a cab to go meet up with Kate, we spent some time on the grassy area. Bean ran around after the seagulls, imitating their calls: “Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!”
It was the cutest thing. I have it on video and can’t wait to show Kate now, years later, along with all of the pictures I took.
Reviewing that visit, I’m filled with warmth and feeling so lucky to have great relationships with the children of my friends. I can’t lie, playing the cool “aunt” is pretty fun.
I think that’s a pretty nice way to end this month of blogging (almost) every single day: grateful for the youngsters in my life and the way they make me smile.