Upon realizing what a crappy young adult I was...

I often reflect now upon how completely grateful I am for the relationship that my mother and I have developed over the past 10 years or so. More to the point, since I became a mother and started to get an inkling of insight to what being a mom is all about, how it takes over every piece of you and changes you so irrevocably, some clue as to all she did for us and how much she loves us.

Which prompted me to realize what a complete dick I was growing up. Not the usual dickishness of my early teens where I would miss curfew (mind you, while dorkily rollerblading with Allison and Kelly around town, not drinking or hanging out with boys) or mid-teens where I'd get busted making out with boyfriends or at a party with booze, but my late teens and early twenties, when it wasn't just "being a kid" but crossed a line into being an irresponsible, disrespectful young adult. AKA the person I hope my daughters never become.

Not that I had a curfew, but living at my mom's and just not coming home all night? Taking her car to go out, or, worse, to drive to visit Kelly at school without telling her? On weeknights? Oh my Lord, if there is any justice in the world, my kids are going to put me through my paces. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I think I would have beaten 19-22 year old me senseless, or have me arrested, or something, I don't know what, but SOMETHING SERIOUS.

I so love and appreciate that my mother doesn't bring any of this up at this point in my life. What would be the point? I suppose that's a valid question, but to just let it be water under the bridge is pretty incredible. (Though she did mention recently that upon renewing her auto insurance policy, she JUST lifted the restriction prohibiting me, specifically, from driving her car.)

Anyway, it comes to mind tonight as I see that Muriel's Wedding is on Netflix streaming. I LOVE this movie. Correction. I LOVED this movie. A chubby girl coming into her own after some missteps, all to the tune of ABBA songs? Psht, what's not to love?! Until I got a little older, gained a little perspective and appreciation for my mom, and realized how much my heart breaks for Muriel's mom whose kids just stomp on her and treat her like absolute shit. Now. My mom is a lot stronger and a hell more of a fighter than the mom in the movie in every single way, but Muriel's horrendous behavior has rendered me so guilt-ridden that every time I try to watch it, I just can't. Like just seeing it on the list on Netflix makes me sad for how rotten I was to her for so many years. It's not that she's like Muriel's mom, but that I was so completely Muriel and her siblings. Horrible and wretched.

It's funny - I wonder when you get to that point in motherhood, when you are able to not hold a grudge (possibly my absolute worst character flaw) and just excise these little portions of life, behavior, etc. out of the family history and move along. Because there are days when Charlotte sasses me that I want to bring something up from months and months ago (I resist...I don't argue with my 7 year old like I would with another adult. Usually.) to knock down her argument. I feel like there's a certain grace that you gain at some point in motherhood. I see glimpses of it here and there, but have decided it is definitely a work in progress.

I just hope the kids don't Muriel me before I achieve it.

Summer fun

between high gas prices and cruddy cars, my goal is to drive as little as possible this summer. So I'm looking for ideas that are right off the BNSF Metra line - we can ride our bikes to the train station and get downtown, or the Children's Museum in Naperville. Where else, though?

Sticking around here, there's a few things going on in Countryside, LaGrange, Brookfield that we'll be glad to visit again.

Countryside is doing their Concerts in the Park series again, Thursday evenings at 7pm starting June 16th.

Brookfield is doing their Concerts in the Park, Friday evenings at Kiwanis Park at 7pm, kicking off with the Dooley Brothers on June 17th.  There's a great play park adjacent to the concert area.

Brookfield will also host Movie Nights on June 24th (How to Train Your Dragon) and July 22nd (Matilda), at dusk.

LaGrange will show Despicable Me at Waiola Park on June 24th at 8:30pm.

The LaGrange Public Library always has a ton of events going on,  as does the Brookfield Library and LaGrange Park Library.

And then, there's always Farmers Markets - check out this list "Illinois Farmers Market Directory" to find one near you. Everyone's fave is always the Oak Park market, held Saturdays from 7am - 1pm. There's always a lot going on there, and OHMYGOSH you have to get the tasty, hot, sweet donuts made as only good church people (Pilgrim Church) can make them. Worth the wait in line, and get at least 2 more than you think you'll need. Seriously, they won't go to waste.

Please send any BNSF train line suggestions my way!

Have a fun, safe summer!!