Monday, September 24, 2007

A Love Letter to the Chicago Park District

As I sat in our Chicago Park District Moms, Pops, and Tots class today with Brendan on my lap, I thought to myself, "I totally take this for granted." Here I am, having the luxury of spending one-on-one time with little Brendan, in a child-friendly environment with lots of other lovely mom and tot duos. And it is all at basically no cost to me. I've never really thought about how lucky I am to be able to access purposeful, affordable programming for my children.

On the few days each year when registration comes around, my heart pounds as I compete with all of the other crazy Chicago moms who sit poised at their computers in an effort to snatch up the limited class space as soon as online registration opens. I am almost always successful in securing whatever program I want. I pay the paltry fee and barely give it another thought.

So here, a moment to say thank you for all that you have done for me, for almost nothing in exchange (maybe twenty or thirty dollars here and there). Thank you Chicago Park District for all of the low-cost, diverse programming you have provided for my children over the past three years. Sure, it hasn't all been great (i.e. Coach Nick and his almost comically disorganized and unenthusiastic approach to teaching three-year-olds how to play tee-ball). But most of it has been pretty decent. From summer camps, to tiny tot ballet, to mommy and me swimming.

And some of the programming has been fantastic . . . for me and the kids. We have made lots of friends through our Park District activities. On cold, winter days when it feels like you have been in your house playing with blocks for weeks on end, it feels like a real treat to head out to a Moms, Pops, and Tots class where your kid can play happily and you can chat with other moms who can't get their kids to nap either.

So the fall session gets going this week. A little Moms, Pops, and Tots and Tiny Tot Swimming for Brendan and some Pre-School Playtime for Ellie. Thank you for the good times.


An Appreciative Mom

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