When I became a mom I felt I was given permission to embrace silliness and adventure. In a way, I think my kids saved me from the mundane minutia often associated with adulthood. While I don’t pretend to hold a cure for all of the chaos in the world, I’m certain children help fix or realign our focus on many of life’s serious issues. Its taken a toddler to remind me that fun doesn’t need to be planned or perfect. Its taken a baby to remind me that time is swift, precious, and purposeful. While life with little ones often feels complicated, the simple stuff makes moments matter.
This past week a friend asked me what I liked best about my new town. As I responded, I was in awe of the many answers I had readily available. However, I kept coming back to the simple stuff. I like to stroll down Main Street. I like my new Thursday tradition of roaming the Farmers Market in search of dinner to go and fresh produce. I like the festive spirit of local businesses and residents that celebrate each season. I like the friendly faces at the Dodge playground sandbox. I like the vibe in Short Stories Bookshop and Community Hub. I like the scene outside of McCool’s, where families feast on ice cream. I like the friendliness of neighbors.
After providing my many likes, my friend asked me what Kara, my toddler, likes. Hmm. What does she like about her new town? She likes walks to J&M Home and Garden where we visit the birds in the Greenhouse. She likes trips to Tons of Toys. She likes taking the train to Summit for pizza. She likes the pickle people at the Farmers Market. She likes the sprinkle cookies from Baba’s Bakery. She likes watching the big kids play basketball at Dodge Field. She likes the meatball sliders from Slamwich. She likes the library. She likes the indoor playground at the YMCA. She likes walking the loop at Giralda Farms.
Please note, we both like that her baby sister can come with us to all of these places too.
These are not complicated or costly likes. These likes are simple. Having lived many places, I have a deep appreciation for communities that foster ideals and events reminiscent of my own childhood experiences. What I like most about Madison is the opportunity to live out my desire for silliness and adventure in a safe and special place. Still fairly new to town, I know there’s much more to unearth and experience.
So, here’s to the simple stuff about our town that makes life with a toddler and baby silly and fun. For the places we walk, the shops we buy from, the events we partake in and the community we’re a part of, we’re grateful. In the daily grind of parenthood and life, Madison helps make each moment matter a little more.