Monday, April 21, 2008

Alone..Lost...with three children..in downtown Chicago..all of them talking to me..not a good combination!!!!

We had quite the adventure on Sunday afternoon. I decide to venture out by myself to take Holden, Alaina and Elley to the Aquarium downtown while Billy has the open house. This was my first time to drive by myself that far into downtown...Alaina and I did go to see Princesses on Ice at the United Center but that didn't seem as complicated. So I'm going along fine using my easy mapquest directions until we get to the Indiana signs for I90 and I get ALL turned around. So, I start heading to Indiana...the wrong direction to be going!! I quickly started praying. "ok Lord, you know me and directions..all I know to do is what's on this piece of paper!! You've got to get us back on track...YOU'VE got to get us there!!!" And He did after a while :)

So I exit off whatever interstate we were on(the wrong one!) and have to resort to pulling up next to someone and rolling down my window and waving at them to roll their window down so I can talk to them. Of course, I get the "what is this freak next to me doing? Are they going to shoot me or something kind of look. " Reluctantly, the man rolls down his window and I tell him I'm trying to get to the Shedd Aquarium. He goes "OH, my gosh" to implicate I'm a ways from there. The light turns green and he yells "Sorry" as he drives away. I jump out of the van and start yelling at him to come back and help me. Just kidding, but I sure wanted to!! I did hear him say to get back on 55N and that the aquarium was by soldier field. So, we do just that and I start to see the right signs! Thank you, God! Then, we get so close that we pass it and I just can't figure out how to get to it to park. That took us another good 20 minutes or so.

Before we finally got close to the building I said to myself "This is my worst nightmare!! Something I never wanted to be doing....Driving, by myself, in downtown Chicago!!! Here we are weaving our way through all this crazy traffic and tall buildings, I was gripping the steering wheel. Its is ONLY God that we ever made it without me calling Billy crying and telling him to come get us.

We arrive, FINALLY and the kids had a great time. We only had one incident with a security guard, actually, I think he was just an aquarium worker...with ,you guessed it...Elley. I can honestly say I don't think she left us, I think we left her(oops) I thought she was following right behind me through the Komodo dragon exibit and I turned around right as we were exiting and she was gone. She had gone the other way, back through the entire exibit. So I weave my way back through all the people and I must have had the "I can't find my child look" because several people looked at me and said "the guy at the entrance has her!" Sure enough, she was with the aquarium worker and a lady was kneeling down beside her asking, I'm sure, about where her mother was. Honestly, I wasn't as panicked as I was when we were all lost driving in Chicago.

Overall, it was a great day. It wouldn't be a true Atchison trip if we didn't have a little excitement. I was so tired on the way home, mainly from constantly saying to myself "1 2 3 Do I have everybody? Is everybody with me? 1 2 3, ok we have everyone." Doing that over and over is kind of draining in a crowd of people. Well, the kids suddenly get there second wind in the car on the way home and they were being pretty loud and silly. You know, they really get it honestly being children of two extroverts, two crazy parents. Finally, Alaina suggests we play the quiet game and I say "that's a GREAT idea!!!!" Within 5 minutes they were all asleep. Ahhhhhhhh! Worked like a charm. Oh, it was a quiet, peaceful car ride the rest of the way home. I'm so thankful for little gifts like this. And, I'm thankful that God always takes care of me when I get myself into these messes.

3 comments:

Carlton and Aimee Weathers said...

Oh, I was really hoping you really did get out of the car and scream for that man to come back and give you directions. I just had the best mental picture of you. Can you believe I resorted to the old red, yellow, green light behavior chart today??? Its working like a charm.........

Lucy and Jason said...

You need to get a TOM-TOM! You will never be lost again!! It is the best thing ever!!

Kristin said...

I could so see you telling this story... And, I was definitely believing that you got out of the car and screamed at that man! I was fired up with you!

A big "Way to go!" on being brave and taking that little adventure trip! And thanks for sharing it!